The Poem as Riddle…


December 2019
by dal ( states that a riddle is simply a statement which has a secret meaning.

They give as an example the following old favorite:

Brothers and sisters I have none but this man’s father is my father’s son.
Who is the man?

The answer of course is “the man is my son”.

But my favorite riddle from BrainDen could be a model for solving the puzzle of Forrest’s poem:

What is greater than God,
more evil than the devil,
the poor have it,
the rich need it,
and if you eat it, you’ll die?

The answer “nothing”.

At first unveiling the answer “nothing” sounds like a cheat…but it is not…and is best understood by turning each line of the riddle into a question, such as:

What is greater than God…nothing.
What is more evil than the devil…nothing.
What do the poor have…nothing.
What do the rich need…nothing.
What happens if you eat nothing…you die.

This I believe is the kind of riddle that could be contained in Forrest’s poem…

But wait!…there’s more…

Wikipedia ( is much more extensive and tells us that a riddle is:

…a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. 

Wiki goes on to say:
…riddles have in the past few decades ceased to be part of oral tradition, being replaced by other oral-literary forms…

And then Wiki provides many very concise examples of riddles from various parts of the peopled world, from the Old Testament to Batman. All very fascinating, in my opinion and certainly furthers my interest in looking at Forrest’s poem as a riddle…

Wiki points out that there are two basic types of riddles…Enigmas and Cunundrums. Forrest’s riddle type would most definitely be an enigma.
Enigmas are problems expressed in allegorical language, requiring careful thinking and ingenuity to solve.

If I take the combined definitions from Wiki and BrainDen for “riddle”…I come up with:
A statement having a secret or hidden meaning put forth as a puzzle to be solved.

That certainly seems to sum up our poem. Further, knowing Forrest’s interest in words, word games, history and humor…the literary riddle seems to be right up his alley…

Nothing in any definition of a riddle that I have come across suggests a riddle is any kind of cipher or code.

Riddles have been part of literature for a very long time…

Ancient Sumerians lay claim to this one reputed to be over 4,000 years old:
What house do you enter blind but come out seeing?

Answer: A schoolhouse

In Alice in Wonderland the Mad Hatter asks Alice, how is a Raven like a writing desk?…
J. R. R. Tolkien planted riddles in The Hobbit.
Edgar Allen Poe wrapped riddles into a few of his works.
In Oedipus Rex the monster requires the answer to a riddle before the sojourner can continue.
Plato and Einstein played with riddles…Even Harry Potter contains riddles.

And riddles in poetry go nearly as far back as poetry itself. But there are plenty of modern examples as well. Emily Dickinson loved to riddle in her poems. Her poems were numbered. This is #466.

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

Emily is describing poetry itself…fairer than prose…a kind of house she can live in.

I know what you’re thinking…so what’s the answer Dal? How did this help you solve the poem?
It hasn’t…but I’ve just started in on this approach.
Here’s how I think I might be able to use it…

Folks have suggested many times over the years that perhaps the clues all refer to the same place…
That could certainly be true in a literary riddle…as in the “nothing” riddle above where one word answers all the questions.

The word that is key which Forrest has referred to could be the answer to all the clues…again, as in the “nothing” riddle above.

It certainly gives me a new license to interpret “Brown”.

Forrest has said over and over that the puzzle of the poem is difficult but not impossible to figure out, and that is certainly what a riddle is…

Begin it in the corner but travel round the world.




355 thoughts on “The Poem as Riddle…

    • Due to its proven difficulty so far, and on a rating scale of 1-10, Forrest’s poem would then have to equal a difficulty of 90+…!!

      Wow, never thought of it like that before!

      • I’m giving it a good $$ percent. It seems to unfold into riddle form, but I think that’s the defeat. It’s origin in Forrest story is something I have pondered, but led me definitively to one location.
        Otherwise, imagination/understanding. With hundred of broken piece I know I won’t be finished any year soon so that’s just where my cookies crumble. I apply the same logic to my riddle and suggest a diet.
        I use a home of brown , but it has more than one actual home, and more than one animal, and more than one person, same with all other lines in the poem.

        • Location, knowledge, imagination. BOTG, problem solving, books, maps, geography… did I miss anything? And now, the possibility of more than one HOB, animal, or person…???

          I, for one, have to admire Forrest’s ingenuity and cleverness! His devotion is incredible! The word “tenacity” doesn’t even come close!

          I think a rethink is the think to do!

          • Mickey, well said; tenacity doesn’t even come close to describing his devotion!!
            Happy New Year Dal, and Mr. Fenn and Family!

        • This quote came from Jenny’s site, featured question with Forrest, feb 23,2018

          FF, you say “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt.” My question- Is there more than 1 home of Brown? Thanks, Jill

          No Jill, there is only one home of Brown in my poem. f

          • That is certainly an honest answer to a poorly asked question. More thought in asking would have elicited a better response. Of course there is only one Brown in his poem, the one he is mentioning. Truly we know there are many more Brown’s in the search area, but as with WWWH there is only one that matters, and that is the one where you start. Forrest is a master of answering with out answering. Example, ” Forrest Fenn don’t you know anything?” his reply ” Miss Ford, I don’t even suspect anything.” When you understand this you’ll begin to understand the complexity of Forrest.

          • Richard – What is your quest???

            Monty Python at the Bridge of Death on poorly asked questions:

            KEEPER: Heh heh. Stop! What is your name?

            ARTHUR: It is Arthur, King of the Britons.

            KEEPER: What is your quest?

            ARTHUR: To seek the Holy Grail.

            KEEPER: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

            ARTHUR: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

            KEEPER: What? I don’t know that! Auuuuuuuugh!

            BEDEVERE: How do know so much about swallows?

            ARTHUR: Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king you know.

            Forrest reminds me of King Arthur in that scene. We need to always be specific, when asking a question in writing or during an interview.

  1. Yeah, I think this is true. I’ve kind of ruled out my last solve. I’ve noticed some interesting things in the poem recently. I think you have to forget about maps and solve the poem. It almost seems like the first line describes the WWWH line.
    As I have gone alone in there.
    Begin it where warm water halt.
    If you take the i in “it” and the w in “where” and switch them, then it would literally mean the first line. The letter i would be inside of the word there. I also noticed if you read “Not far” backwards you can spell out a town in Wyoming called Afton. Afton is just south of Auburn, which is a shade of brown. So maybe thats HOB. There’s a place right around Afton that goes perfectly with the last line called Quaking Aspen Hollow. Quaking can mean scared, Aspen is a type of tree or wood, and Hollow means you put something in it. I would say it’s definitely worth exploring.

  2. Thanks Dal, I’m even more confused now.
    Just when my choo choo was on the right track, so I thought, you come along with this different kind of scenario and derail my caboose!

    I think I’ll take some time away from the chase, maybe I’ll join a bowling league or go to the mall and build a Bear with regularity or something. 🙂

    Pauley T

  3. I love this!
    I was actually thinking along this same line. I am using a Mind Mapping program called FreePlane. It helps with organizing thoughts and compiling data into a visual format.
    It’s like in the movies or on TV when you see a detective or investigator’s office. They have a bulletin board full of maps, photos and Post-It notes with colored strings connecting them. It’s like that except it’s on my computer, so it is easy to edit and move stuff around.

    Anyway… by using this FreePlane, I can add notes with definitions for each word.
    Then I can “translate” the line of the poem using various definitions.

    Also it helps me analyze the words within the line to look for different meanings. Even without punctuation, the way a sentence is read can give it different meanings.

    “Punctuation is the difference between a sentence that is well-written, and a sentence that is, well, written.”

    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” could mean that, up your creek, there is no paddle. Or there will be no paddling to get up your creek. Etc. etc.

    • Yeah. I’m thinking along the same lines. Try to literally apply the clues to poem. For instance Begin it where warm waters halt. The closest mention of water after that line is the word “creek.” So that would be WWWH, literally. Then take it in the canyon down, it being the word “creek” If you drop it down to the next line (take it in the canyon down) You get Water Creek, which is what led me to Afton in the first place.

  4. Within all the short stories and Questions and Answers Forrest has unveiled much of the poems meaning, in my opinion. In important literature he has laid bare the place you need to start. In the Titles of TTOTC he has given you a Time Line to follow. Bit by bit he has unvailed the location. He has done a remarkable job IMO of keeping the secret intact. He has disguised the perfect solve in so many places. A genius for sure. I just hope the treasure is still out there. I hope he gets to see it found.

  5. According to my solve you are on the right track, but it’s much more than this. I consider the Poem and the Chase a Puzzle. It’s a puzzle that is made up of multiple types of “games”. These get very frustrating at times, and the complexity is … unique. I’ve thought of similar thigns before but I’ve never run across anything like this. the people using math and running algorithms and stuff don’t realize that it takes more than that. You have to both right and left brained at the same time.

  6. Great post Dal. I especially like your definition of riddle. I’ve struggled with Forrest’s comment that it was a riddle since I saw puzzles and riddles as very distinct things. Your research makes it sound like a riddle is just a specific form of puzzle. One that is verbal and has a solution, like the poem.

    As to finding a new interpretation for Brown, most of those riddles you presented couldn’t be solved based on a single word. So I’d look for an interpretation of the whole line at least, maybe even by stanza?

  7. Dal wrote: “Folks have suggested many times over the years that perhaps the clues all refer to the same place…”

    Yes, that’s true. And I think those searchers are wrong.

    Forrest has clearly said there are 9 clues in the poem, and those clues must be followed in consecutive order. We can’t find the 5th clue without first finding the 4th clue, and we can’t find the 4th clue until we first find the 3rd clue, and so on. And we must begin at WWWH.

    All 9 clues referring to the same place seems to violate this edict. If the poem is just one “riddle”, then it wouldn’t make any difference which clue one solved first, since they all refer to a singular place. We wouldn’t need to start at WWWH; we could start at the blaze, for example.

    Further, why would we need 9 clues? Why not just 3, or 4, or 5 … ?

    My impression is that searchers who have hitched their wagon to the all-clues-refer-to-the-same-place star do so to reduce the number of clues from 9 to 1, thus making the search easier, more convenient.

    I’ll stick with the traditional, and more difficult, 9 clues in consecutive order theme, because I think that’s what Forrest intended.

    Ken (in Texas) 🙂

    • Ken-
      Well…it’s just a theory and by spring I may be back to following the clues like an old devil dog…
      Depends on where this leads me…it’s fun to take a new road once in awhile…new places and scenery…or it could be a short road to nowhere…

      • Dal, I’m not sure it has to be an either/or situation as to riddles vs following the clues prosaically – it might be worth considering both. Similarly, although the poem is undoubtedly an enigma, I think conundrums also play a part. Merriam-Webster puts it this way:

        conundrum: ‘a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun (as in “Why didn’t the lost hikers starve in the desert? Because of the sand which is there.” ‘

        Beyond that, in my solution, a “riddle” automatically pops up at the end. And that seems appropriate to me. Where warm waters halt is a riddle that’s at the heart of poem, and we won’t know we have the right WWWH until we open the chest. What could be more enigmatic than that?

        You also mentioned the tussle between those who think the clues refer to one place and those who take the opposing view (like Ken). What if, in certain respects, both are correct?

        • Just to add that you used the word “allegorical” in your post, and I think that this entire treasure hunt is allegorical in nature. Wikipedia opens its article on allegory with this:

          “As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences.”


          I have argued elsewhere that the poem has to be viewed metaphorically as well as literally. With metaphor being closely related to allegory, and allegory related to riddle, if there is any merit in the thrust of your argument, Dal, metaphor is at the heart of it.

          That said, I don’t think it’s necessary to know all the answers. Forrest set out to make us think. The very act of trying to unravel these knots mentally can deepen our understanding of the allegory, IMO.

          But as in your first example where the answer is “nothing,” the groan of realization that the solution is actually very simple may have resonance within the Chase.

      • Great post, Dal. Has Forrest actually said the poem is a riddle, or contains a riddle? I couldn’t find this info on the Internet.

        I really like the quote you cited in a prior post, “Winston said, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” (

        The treasure spot is a mystery yet to be identified as solved, there is a riddle, the answer to which reveals Indulgence’s final resting place, but I believe Indulgence’s final resting place itself is also an enigma, which must be negotiated correctly to complete the solve. Obviously, this hunt is more complicated than even just solving the poem in the riddle.

        As Forrest has said, “The blueprint is challenging so the treasure may be located by the one who can best adjust.” (

        Is there someone now who has solved the riddle, but now is making their final adjustments to retrieve the chest? Only time and retrieval of the chest will tell us the answer to this question.

        • 5/8/2017 On the Road with Charlie – Part One

          FENN: Well, it’s hidden in a pretty good place. It’s difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the riddle that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.

          • Thank you, Double a. I have heard that quote so many times, and yet it did not come to mind when I needed it!

            I do believe there is a riddle, and that the answer to the last clue is the answer to the riddle. It will get you very close to the chest, but searching BOTG is required for actual retrieval.

        • Blue Fox – Did you know Winston Churchill was an artist? Forrest clearly does. Winston painted this last one at age 87:

          Look familiar to anyone, as an analogy to their search area? Big Browns and Rainbows, not Goldfish, in my pond. But, maybe, that was ‘Gold•fish’, which, I hope, are BOTH present at my next BOTG/BITW search.

          Maybe that ‘word that is key’ lies in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary?

          By the way, that painting sold for a surprising amount of British £.

          • Blue Fox – And from that quote about the Blueprint, is that?:

            ‘best adjust’ > Bess’d add just

            Elizabeth I was aka ‘Bess’. And Forrest used “trove” for good reason in the Poem, IMO:

            “Action in trover became a mature legal doctrine during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, 1558–1603. Early trover cases involved the keeping or taking of a bailment by the bailee (the person charged to hold the property with “ordinary care”). Others concerned the use of lost chattels found by another.”

          • Thanks, Lisa! I don’t think I had seen the painting by Winston before.

            Good luck in the hunt!

    • Anyway…not to say that the riddle answers would not lead me to the same conclusions I already reached…although the odds seem against me on that 🙂

      • A change in perspective is very likely to modify how and what we perceive, and different perceptions may demand a resultant change in our perspective. I’ve found that in The Chase, as in life, either can precede the other with the result being almost always positive. At worst, mental gymnastics keep the mind malleable.

        For a long time, I was very focused on the nine clues. Over the course of time and especially following Forrest’s “map” comments beginning in/around 2017, I began to believe that “[a]ll of the information… in the poem” was comprised of far more than just nine clues, and that the non-clue information was equally as important as information provided in clue form.

        I happen to believe parsing the poem as F intended is a critical first step toward discerning his intent regarding all the information in the poem. It appears that some information in the poem relates to the clues, and some information relates to what we (searchers) are required to perform. There may be a double entendre (both of which may be applicable and acted upon) or two, and I’m reasonably certain there are tasks we must perform that include interaction with some clues. I’m speaking of effort in the virtual sense – from the comfort of our chair – as I believe the BOTG path is very short relative to the path defined by the poem.

        We can reason and imagine as logically and/or creatively as we deem appropriate, but if our results don’t coincide with F’s intent, well, let’s just hope we take the time and make an effort to enjoy each adventure.

        Anyway, just The Chase world as I see it – and I’m probably wrong, so FWIW.

        (original) Joe

      • Hey Dal,

        Do you think the answer to the riddle might act as a sort of confirmation of your solve? So another words, if you have the right solve, the answer to the riddle will be apparent.

    • Ken {TX} ~ ‘All 9 clues referring to the same place seems to violate this edict.’

      What violation?
      Follow; be a logical consequence of something; act according to (an instruction or precept); conform to; pay close attention to (something); understand the meaning or tendency of (a speaker or argument).
      Follow does not always mean being lead by a leash.
      Lead; the initiative in an action; an example for others to follow; culminate in (a particular event); set (a **process**) in motion; have or experience (a situation).
      Lead doesn’t always mean to follow in a physical sense.

      You also said; ~’My impression is that searchers who have hitched their wagon to the all-clues-refer-to-the-same-place star do so to reduce the number of clues from 9 to 1, thus making the search easier, more convenient.’

      My questions; is it possible that some clues are repeated [their reference] for different reasoning?
      Example; IF WWsH was a waterfall and TIITCD NF,BTFTW refers to the distance the water actually falls to, that can’t be walked down… could JHLnWH refer to the same place for a different reason?
      Could the idea that 9 clues must refer to different things force the idea of 9 different places is a must?

      The precondition notion that; *I’ll stick with the traditional, and more difficult, 9 clues in consecutive order theme,* doesn’t seem to get anyone past WWsH [first two clues] correctly. Might it be the method of operation ya’ll seem to be tied to…
      “Traditional” just doesn’t sound like fenn to me, imo.

      However, fenn presented the challenge in the form of a poem, and the one thing Dal seem to hit on is; “…a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved.
      Is that also not how many poems work-?- for the reason of interpretation?

      I don’t see any violation in understanding the sentence from the poem; So I wrote a poem containing nine clues if followed precisely will lead…
      The question is, how did fenn intend “follow and lead” to be understood?
      A precondition notion this is a traditional treasure hunt doesn’t seem to jive with fenn’s. I like the way Dal put it on the home page [in part] *That’s crazy! Maybe…Forrest is not a traditional thinker tied to conventional ways of getting things done.*

  8. This is an excellent post Dal! You did a good job at explaining your thought process. I’ve always considered the poem to be a riddle. Even if it doesn’t lead to the right solution, it is a great mental exercise.

  9. When I started this chase a few years ago I wrote a poem that was a riddle

    Today I saw the route of a flower
    Raising into the air
    High it went in the wind fair
    Sound fading from the ear

    It was simple and not perfect in any means.
    I have ask people from time to time when the occasion arrived if they could tell me what it describes. No one had the imagination to realize that a flower flies thru the air by way of Bees.

    This is how I remind myself of looking at the poem as a riddle.

  10. Someone once alluded to the idea that everything is a riddle and that the key to answering a riddle is another riddle. Wrapping one’s brain around that concept in terms of *defining* a riddle presents a kaleidoscopic array of thoughts and theories that have baffled scholars and writers for centuries. If the author never explains or implicitly defines it… the concept will remain elusive for eternity. There is no doubt [in my mind] that this challenge is riddlesque in nature… the trick I guess will be to unravel it by keeping in mind that the end goal may be much more simplistic(AHA!) than the delivery the writer concocted to introduce it. There are some ancient riddles that are merely interpretive… and the true answers are not known definitively. In Fenn’s case… he’s probably given us more than we could imagine.
    Great topic Dal and thanks for the continued efforts you put forth for all to enjoy.

  11. Hi Dal
    Welcome to the chase. Just last week I was talking to Zap and
    Seeker about this same thing each stanza have riddles,some
    have both riddles & clues.I am on the last stanza and have it all done except
    this part of it,Your effort will be worth the cold.
    I think I have it have but will not know till there.
    The books to ,riddles from cover to cover.Forrest said this will
    not be done on spring break.3 years and 3 months so far.
    Thanks Clint

    • Springtime is too rainy for search hiking near the TC, because the ground will
      be too muddy. This makes hiking very difficult (if not dangerous).
      As always, in my opinion (having hiked there in spring).

      • Agree. Even Forrest waited until summer to hide the chest. Spring is rushing it. I think the chest will be found in the summer. Maybe mid-June, July or August.

  12. You r definitely right, it is all a riddle, and some key word lead each riddle, and I smiled when it woke me up a few nights ago! F$&@€king genius ff!!!

    • It’s a Christmas morning riddle, the kind that makes you wake up hoping your back sleeping on the ground somewhere…

  13. Hi Dal, So how do we fit the riddle idea, to the statement were he tells us that “there are hints in the book to help unlock the clues in the poem” I’m wondering if the riddle statement is just another way of repeating the above quote?

  14. Another thought, how does the riddle idea fit in with our being told to marry places on the map with the clues in the poem?

  15. Thanks Dal for the fresh perspective. I think there is a riddle or puzzle overlapping the concrete clues In the poem.
    One riddle In the chapter Dancing With The Millennium has stuck with me. Forrest asks the reader how long a piece of iron is needed to make a horseshoe- measure front to back on the hoof, multiply by two and add an inch. This is also a description/allegory of how the treasure was hidden from where he parked (perhaps down some iron railroad tracks at some point) and for me explains the two horseshoes (omegas) at the end of the book as the two trips he took to hide it. There are many allegories like this in the books and the poem may not be different.

    • Great catch! I wondered if anyone else noticed that.
      Those little things slip by us so unnoticed sometimes, don’t they – too busy looking at the big picture.

  16. Riddles? The answers he already knows.

    How do you follow footsteps, when no one is there?

    When is a olive, not a olive?

    Where do warm waters “halt”, but keep “flowing”?

    What is not a home, but is a home of Brown?

    Why take “it” in the canyon “down”, when there’s no paddle “up your” creek.

    How do “heavy” loads, “float” on air?

    Why does water “high”, shrink down “below”?

    Just food for thought that just might help lead the way.
    Thanks Dal.


      • JDA,

        You’re in luck, I know the answers. Of course they took awhile to understand, and by the way I can’t share at this moment.
        If you can figure them out we will cross paths come Spring.

        Thanks for your comment JDA.


        • I believe I do as well according to my solve. If you and I know the same things then we may cross paths, if our crossed paths crosss.

          • Jojo,

            Maybe your the one I met at wwwh and told of my poem findings. Ok maybe not because I did not tell all the answers to those riddle questions above.

            So if you know those answers, have you figured out the blaze? For me there to many answers to this question.

            Good luck Jojo.


        • Bur, your “logic” or “reasoning” is hard for me to understand or
          comfortably wrap my mind around (When is a olive, not a olive?).

          Then you say you “can’t share”. Good one.

          A person can’t share what they don’t have.

          Sometimes a person has something and CAN share, but isn’t WILLING to. Capiche?

          I don’t suggest hiking in the Spring.
          I don’t suggest hiking during the spring season, for safety reasons.

          Good luck to you. This entire message is part of my oPInion.

          • Tall Andrew,

            When I say “can’t share at this moment” that does not mean I won’t at sometime. Those questions are legit questions to the area I have come across, and if one can figure those answers out they will be where I am at. Is it the correct area? Well the research and botg trips sure point that way, but yes this is my opinion, but it’s the best area I have seen fitting most all the clues, and I have come across throughout the years.

            Yes, Spring can be challenging and fun at times, but I tend to think safety at all times.

            So when is a olive, not a olive Andrew? If you knew the answer to one of the clues, you would understand this just by looking around.

            Good luck to you too.


    • Is an olive not an olive when it is a “color?”
      Kinda green – like me!
      Everything here is so…..camouflaged.

      • Everything is about camouflaged with ff. He has given us all the answers, right in front of us! Its all about Bias Information. Our brain can only fonction one way and ff is a master of using it to déroute us from his thinking. When he says Where Warm Waters Halt, all of our brains will only think about those specific words, and that is why almost nobody will know What this
        is. Our brain wasn’t trained to read his Poem, and resetting it takes a very long and painful time. I honestly think that his poem was meant to only one person who thinks like him, and its no me…yet (maybe in a 100 years!) . I only deciphered a few items, but not close enough to move with confidence. Only one person deserves it, and i hope he finds it. PeeBee.

      • Wwwamericana,

        Good answer, I like it. There is only one problem, it’s not the correct answer. As least you tried and made a effort.
        Sometimes answers can be simple. So for your effort I will answer –
        How do you follow footsteps, when no one is there?

        You follow the poem clues.

        Forrest made the first steps leaving his footprints for us to follow in his poem.

        Thanks for your answer reply, good luck and Happy New Year.


        • LOL – oh well if you don’t try, you can’t win.
          Hey, if I was walking backwards – could I follow his “footprints?”
          Too many balls of yarn here and I just keep getting tangled up.
          So tell me please – when is an olive not an olive?

          • www,
            If I was to give that answer it would be a good hint to the place of one of the poem clues, sorry. If you walk backwards you would be taking the canyon up. Smiles!!!


  17. Very good, Dal. I have been seriously considering that same concept. Especially since Forrest’s posting of his driftwood art, some two years ago. It is a perfect example of what you are describing: the allegorical description of what an object can evoke when viewed from different perspectives.

    I think it quite possible, that while it may not describe a single object, the clues in the Poem are describing scenes in a very small area. Scenes that the descriptors within the area bring to mind when viewed from certain point-of-view.

    All the more reason why, if ya ain’t got the ‘correct’ WWWH, ya ain’t got nuthin’!! 🙂

    Similar to what Seeker has espoused, in certain respects.

    (oh yeah, the use of ‘I think’ above denotes that this is IMO!!)

  18. Thanks Dal;

    I have thought for a long while that the poem IS a riddle, or that there was a riddle within the poem. So, Thanks for making it a topic.

    In stanza #1, there is this line – “I can keep my secret where, …” Such strange phraseology.
    It seems like an incomplete thought -“I can keep my secret,(Where I hid Indulgence.) – but I am not going to tell…” kind of thought. A conundrum for sure – Or is it the beginning of the riddle? What if “Where” is an actual place? – “I can keep my secret place…” – Find out where this “Secret place (where)” and you will find Indulgence. (I know that is what we are all looking for) BUT what if the “Secret “Where” _” can be found on a map?…But not a “Typical” map, but more like a depiction of an area.

    Tie all of the above to the first clue- “Begin it WHERE warm waters halt…”

    I know that this is all hard to follow, but if we can “Begin it WHERE warm waters halt, and find the secret WHERE (Secret Place) on a special MAP – we MIGHT be on our way.

    Wish I could make my thoughts clearer… Back to the poem – Back to finding the answer to the riddle within – Thanks Dal for the new thread – JDA

    • I think the “my secret where” reference is like a preamble. Since it is before the first clue. I think he is using poetic license and uses “where” as a noun meaning a place.
      “As I have gone alone in there….” (Since I went there all alone)
      “I can keep my secret where…” (then I can keep my place secret).
      Remember, the only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.

      • I agree so far Lori – But how (or does) the first “Secret WHERE” relate to the second WHERE? – WHERE warm waters halt… and why is this an alliteration? Why did Forrest want to draw our attention to these three “W’s”? JDA

        • IMO, the secret where is where the chest is hidden. He is making it clear that he is the only person who knows its location. I don’t see it as a clue, and FF says the first clue is WWWH.

          Along the same line of thinking (in my mind), after the chest is found (in the poem), there is no further clues needed. Yet the poem continues…
          “So why is it that I must go
          And leave my trove for all to seek?
          The answers I already know,
          I’ve done it tired and now I am weak.”

          At first, I thought he was questioning, “why must I die?” But that is not what it says. It asks why must he leave the trove for all to seek. I often wondered about the silver bracelet that he wants back. Since he is the only one who knows where it is, why not just go get it?
          A few days ago, my copy of the book (TTOTC) arrived and I dove right in, looking for clues to add to my mind map. On the front inside flap of the book’s dust jacket, it says:
          “… a bronze chest that is so full of gold and precious jewelry that it’s almost too heavy for one person to carry.’ Forest said that if he were younger he’d go back and get it himself.”

          So, is this a clue that relates to the “where”? I don’t think so. I think it is just supplemental information, in the same way that “my secret where” is. If that makes sense.

      • Lori, the thing I see with what you said about f keeping his secret place secret is in the very next line he starts hinting about this. That’s a corundum.

  19. Dal,

    Interesting idea, but I respectfully disagree. I think we should do what ff has told us to do from the outset – Marry the clues to a location. I don’t think any of the locations are the same. He wants to take you on a trip from one place to the next. It is a roadmap. All IMHO.

      • Dal, I don’t think the clues are in riddle form.

        There’s one f statement that sheds light about this with one of the clues…wwwh.

        Dear Forrest,

        You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

        a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

        b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

        Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? Steve

        No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

        If the wwwh line is a riddle one can’t solve it from that clue only.

        One can think later clues help solve that clue/riddle. I think that approach violates f’s words that the clues are consecutive/contiguous.

        To me, the way one can solve the first clue is to figure out there might be a hint in the first stanza that’s in the form a riddle.

        The clues just hinge off of that riddle as one progresses closer to the tc so the clues don’t have to be riddles too.

  20. ff said “If you knew the geographical location of each clue it would be like a map to the treasure.” This has to mean that there are 9 geographical locations, right?

    I agree with the prose poem idea. Hemingway said that he felt like “an architect” when he wrote prose within his stories. I believe ff has the same writing style in his memoir and that is why the stories are not completely truthful…………………..

    • NWoT;

      I agree, 9 clues = 9 geographical locations. The problem is – “What are the 9 clues?” If you pick the wrong clues, the result has to be that you have the wrong geographical locations – Let’s say you get clues 1 and 2 correct = 2 correct locations. You mess up clue #3 – this equals #3 geographical location is wrong, and probably all that follow. Darn! – JDA

      • By this point in time, I don’t think the big mystery is “what are the real clues”.

    • If you stand at a spot and take an initial GPS reading, then take ten steps and another reading and do that for taking seven more readings, have you not mapped 9 unique geographical locations?

      Or, they could be just five feet apart. 🙂

    • New Way…sure…but those nine locations might just be a few feet apart so in the larger geographical picture they would all be in the same general location…

      But I am not suggesting that is the answer…only that it is a real possibility for me if I look at the poem as a riddle..

  21. I like your write up Dal. I think the wwwh is the big picture and it gets narrowed down from there so basically the key word would be the pinpoint place.
    “But wait … there’s more” cracked me up.

  22. When was it ever NOT a riddle? Knowing what type of riddle is contained within the poem is another riddle itself.

    • I’m with you but many people have used the “head pressures” quote to try and exclude all sorts of things. I honestly think that quote did more damage than good. In my opinion people have taken those words to mean something entirely different than Forrest is saying by applying the wrong tone. But this is a great effort by dal to put some deeper meaning Into the poem for the masses to sit back and reflect upon.

      • Agree Double a and I’m aware of the quote. My opinion is that ‘knowing about other riddles or ciphers’ will not help with the poem. Sorta like what Dal is doing up there and looking into how other riddles work may not help the solving of the clues and ff was warning about that with the comment.

        Btw, that ‘head pressures’ quote came out in 2015, two years later ‘on the road with charlie’ interview he said: “…But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the riddle that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem…” If you search for ‘riddle’ on tarry scant dot com you can see that over the years many other people in interviews with ff called his poem or the clues ‘riddles’ and he never objected to it.

        • I don’t much care to discuss whether the poem is a “riddle” or a “puzzle” or whatever.

          I think most of us searchers can agree that it’s not easy to “solve” or “unlock” or “decipher” or “translate” or “decode” or whatever.

          Folks, if given the chance, seem to be making the poem and/or
          the hunt into such a great “mystery” that it may rival “the mystery/mysteries of life itself”. Gee.

          I think having a fundamental look at the design of it (life and/or the poem and/or the hunt) will help to untangle it, allowing us to comb through any snarls that are keeping us from penetrating the jungle of complexitease.

          As always, this message is “part” of my opinion.

          • “ I think having a fundamental look at the design of it (life and/or the poem and/or the hunt) will help to untangle it, allowing us to comb through any snarls that are keeping us from penetrating the jungle of (sic) complexities.”

            I picked a good screen name then. Outstanding, lol.

    • Oz, DoubleA,

      Yep, since fenn’s two comments there has been an explosion on the idea of riddles.
      The question [imo] is not so much; how those two comments conflict? but more to the idea; how they hold truth.
      Oz’s question; When was it ever NOT a riddle? is great.
      My question [regardless of approach, be it riddles or anything else] How does it all come together?
      I just keep seeing the same old concept of a point to point solution. Even with the idea of attempting to resolve this by riddling the clues, it’s the concept of a point to point solve going to force the riddles to be 9 of anything?
      fenn said he counted the clues when he was done with the poem… of course he has the advantage of knowing what they represent… But are we only to think of 9 individual places, or should we think of how those individual places might connect as a whole?
      Synergy as to, the whole is greater than all its parts. But you still need all the ingredients / parts.

      • Seeker said: “But are we only to think of 9 individual places, or should we think of how those individual places might connect as a whole?”

        What I think might be helpful is to imagine how FF has made sure that it’s impossible to shortcut the process. If a searcher thinks they have all the clues figured, a simple test is to remove one place/answer and see if the poem is still solvable. If it is, the solution is likely wrong. Alternatively, see if you can start at, say, clue three and reach the end point without using clues one and two. Again, if you can, then the solution is probably wrong.

        This puzzle was designed to be unsolvable without all the clues being answered so that no one could circumvent the process. Seeker’s use of the word “synergy” is apposite, IMO.

        • I think you misunderstood my use of synergy, Vox.
          An engine can still be an engine but will never run if you leave out the spark plugs, line of thinking.
          The whole is of ‘all’ its parts… but it’s the final product we need / strive for [in working order]. IMO the poem will only work itself out if all the components are satisfied.
          Most think the final product is discovering the hidey spot by pointing out the individual parts that lead to chest [engine block, heads, intake, plugs – you get the gist – until you reach the exhaust.]… where I’m of the belief the poems parts all work as one [the entire ‘working’ engine].
          One location that is composed of the clue’s references as a whole.
          If you think about it… we’re saying the same thing. We just have a different process for the outcome. You might see individual parts… I see it combined as a whole.

          • That’s kind of what I thought you meant, Seeker. Which is why I thought it an appropriate word to use. I also believe it has to be seen as a whole – but you need ALL the parts.

        • I have to respectfully disagree with this. In my solve, you can indeed solve this without solving every single bit of it. In fact, the finder will almost certainly not have every single thing figured out. The solution is that big. Take whatever solve you have and multiply the number of things you figured out by 8, then you’re close to how much stuff you can figure out in this puzzle. Fenn went overboard in my opinion. The hints are even worse. The three books have so many hints in them and combined with the verbal hints and scrapbooks- I can confidently say that the finder will not have figured everything out. No way in hell. That’s hiow involved this is. How convuluted. It’s insane. It;s like Fenn was trying to figure out how to drive people insane when he came up with this. And that’s after you figure out what he’s done. After you have figured out how to solve it – that’s when the hair pulling BEGINS. Hours of frustration. Day and weeks and months of stress as you panic knowing others are ahead of you and you just figured out what to do now. I’ve said it before- I love Fenn and respect him, but this thing is a nightmare.

          • Don’t misunderstand me, JoJo, I was referring to the core nine clues – not the multitude of extraneous hints.

            If it’s any help, I too spent years tearing my hair out and going quietly bonkers over the seemingly convoluted complexity. It was only relatively recently that I was able to stand back and see the simplicity. Maybe we have to go through the insanity to reach a calmer place.

          • JoJo. You are absolutely correct. Fenn was trying to drive people insane. I agree wholeheartedly with that statement, and so do I.

          • Frustration is a normal part of life sometimes. If you let
            the poem/hunt become a nightmare to you, you may be
            taking it all too seriously. Please treat it like a hobby, but
            not an obsession, okay?

            As always, in my opinion.

          • JoJo, Vox, and Seeker:

            It’s entirely rational to think the poem is overwhelmingly complex. But IMO we as solvers project upon the poem the complexity of the natural world. Word and world are bound in Fenn’s mind and memory, and while they are both infinitely particular, one exceeds the other. As broad as the scope of the Rockies is, a single acre can swallow forever a minute thing. Shroud the 166 word description of that acre in a simple unknown, a perspective singular to one individual, and readers’ befuddlement will lead them to posit the complexity as residing in the 166 words, but not in the vastly more infinite particularity of the natural world.

            In my work I have spent countless hours searching for small single human-placed monuments in the woods, monuments documented by coordinates, photos, textual descriptions, slope corrected distance and azimuth measurements triangulated from tagged witness trees…..monuments but 15-20 years old, lost forever.

            As difficult as the poem is, IMO the most difficult lies outside the poem, out there.

  23. Begin it in the corner but travel round the world.

    Love that line Dal. Not only for the beauty of the figurative relationship it has with the poem and it’s nine year journey but more importantly I think that when this puzzle is solved, you’ll find that to be the literal blueprint Forrest has embedded in the riddle mapping the way to the gold.

    • “Begin it in the corner…” Yes, a brilliant observation, Dal. And a fitting tribute, Dblffaa!

      “…and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” Only to face the ethical dilemma and once past that…an empty spot where infinite dreams once found habitat, IMO.

  24. Dal, I have always stated that the poem is a collection of 10 riddles. the first nine are the 8 clues, each must be solved individually and correctly to lead you to 9th riddle which is the location for the first 9 clues, the 10 riddle is to figure out what the blaze is, and where the TC is in relation to LQDYQTC. If one riddle is incorrect then you might as well stay home and play Chasopoly.

    • Richard – Ok. Chase-opoly, it is, then! Saddle Brown was the original color for the London-based game. Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue in the U.S. version by Parker Brothers (now Purple) surround the Community Chest:

      Looks like the Thames River is in the middle. I think Lewis Carroll’s niece, Alice, would like this historic paddle. And so would my namesake, Queen Elizabeth I. Did you know she threw lavish parties on the Thames, when ‘IT’ was frozen in Winter?

      Marry the clues to a map… Shakespeare (aka Edward De Vere?) liked to hide riddles in prose. Especially dangerously political riddles.

      Great ideas and items for consideration, Dal!

      • Richard – I think ‘Shakespeare’ liked my ancestor, Julius Caesar. Great play, Edward De Vere!

        Check out how the capitol of the farthest extent of the Roman Empire is right in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Baltic Sea:

        Wasn’t Forrest’s bronze chest described to be “pre-Romanesque”, featuring a siege scene? And isn’t a ‘Keep’ the place where the wealthy castle owner would seek refuge in battle and where he would ‘keep’ his treasures?

        Is the word that is key?:

        ‘Kee-p’ > ‘Key-p’

        Incidentally, did you know a ‘Kype’ is the morphed, hooked jaw of a spawning Brown or Rainbow trout?

        Hey, Dal! If the Poem is a riddle, could the locations corresponding to a map form the shape of a question mark, with the final treasure location being the dot at the bottom? That solution was in honor of The Riddler from the “Batman” series. R.I.P. Sun Valley resident, Adam West.

        • Lisa-
          If the poem is an allegorical riddle I think we would have to depend on the words in the poem rather than optics to unpuzzle it.

          • Dal – Yes. I agree. But as Cynthia pointed out, there is a ‘question mark’ in the Poem:

            “So why is it that I must go,
            And hide my trove for all to seek?”


            Mr. Shakespeare – Was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” an allegory, perchance? Do you think some of Forrest Fenn’s stories in TTOTC and TFTW and OUAW are allegorical, also, as relates to potential clues to marry to a map?

            Hmmmm…always check in with Shakespeare’s Ghost. IMO.

          • Dal,
            As far as you know, has anyone had a solve (with 9 places on a map) that reveals a riddle and an answer to it? As I said earlier, I think if you have the correct solve, a specific riddle and a specific answer will be revealed, and that answer will be the resting place of Indulgence. This is what I think that you will need to “solve” the 9 clues, and then a riddle will reveal itself. It will be a confirmation of sorts. Has anyone you know of done this? Probably not, or that would mean that could retrieve the chest. But I’m specifically wondering if there could be wrong solves that would still reveal a riddle?

          • Dal and Blue Fox – What is your ‘quest’?

            Thinking of this root word of ‘question’…

            “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
            Look quickly down your quest to cease.”

            Looking at my topo map in Satellite View for that question mark, formed by my Poem clue solutions married to that map:

            1) Madison Junction

            2) Madison Canyon

            3) Madison River

            4) Cable Car Run at Riverside


          • Lisa-
            I have had many variations on my list of first four clues over the years. My most recent looks like yours except for #4. But I have tried several different #4s even in the past year…I’ve never found a number five.
            It’s always fun to get out and search for one though.

            I have another variation that I’ve written about within the past couple of years. It starts further upstream from Madison Junction..but still leaves me wandering around looking for #5.

          • Dal – Thank you for sharing!

            I didn’t find a question mark on my topo, formed by my map locations corresponding to my nine clues in the Poem, but I did find an obvious one, upstream from my hidey spot. It is clearer in Satellite View:


            Maybe the dot in that question mark is one of Forrest’s secret fishing holes? The Browns and Rainbows like to feed where these small creeks meet the main branch of the river. Or, so said Howard Buck in his classic 1938 fly fishing book.

          • Dal – If the clues in the Poem potentially form a riddle to be solved, shouldn’t we first determine what each Poem line with a clue in it is, in the form of a question? For example:

            1) Where do ‘IT’/Warm Waters begin/halt?

            2) Where does ‘IT’ then go Canyon down?

            3) How far down that Canyon on ‘IT’ is TFTW?

            4) Who or What or Where is home of Brown to put in?

            5) From home of Brown, Why is ‘IT’ no place for the meek?

            6) Why have we been wiSe to find the blaze? Or, to ‘found’ the blaze?

            My answer here is that suspicious interpretive sign, with the cast Brown trout on it, on the shore at Baker’S Hole. Did Forrest have anything to do with casting those two Brown trout?

            I think you get my ‘drift’ here, Dal…

            Comments, anyone?

      • Lisa-You are amazing and a walking Encyclopedia of knowledge and Information. Your willingness to share with us is commendable .

      • What? what? The Thames froze over only about 24 times in the past six hundred years. Every time it was a festival and only a few of those times were during Elizabeth’s reign.

        Nobody can trace her ancestry to Julius Caesar, since his only daughter Julia predeceased him without issue and his only son Caesarion also died without issue.

        There is a difference between enigma and nonsense.

        • Muset – Yes, I have seen the family tree of Gaius Julius Caesar, also. But you have not taken into account his many mistresses, besides Cleopatra. Do a ‘find in page’ for ‘Marcus Brutus’, for instance:

          In the movie “Anonymous”, the 3 Earls featured in the plot were ALL rumored to be Elizabeth I’s bastard children: Essex, Oxford and Southampton. And they were ALL in the line of succession to Elizabeth I, upon her death.

          And I didn’t say how often Elizabeth I threw parties on the frozen Thames River. I just said that she did.

          See also: Elizabeth I’s Act of Trover. I believe I listened to a comment by Forrest in a recent recorded Playboy interview about his choice to use the word, ‘trove’ in the Poem. It was nice of the German interviewer to allow a searcher to share that with the rest of us.

          Just curious: did you happen to see the recent movie made, called, “Enigma” with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role? I learned a lot in that movie, which I applied to solving the Poem.

        • There may be a reason that Julius Caesar is being emphasized.
          I don’t think it relates to salad, or to his girth. All IMO.

  25. Dal,

    While I like the idea in its concept, the one thing that pops in my head is; is there more than one riddle / puzzling thought to be solve? or is there just one that gets the ball rolling?
    Hint of riches new and old could be considered a riddle of some sort.
    The same can be said for stanzas / lines in 2 3 4 alone. Then of course we do have stanza 5 which almost jumps out and yells; a riddle to understand what “tired and week” might refer to.
    Here’s the thing that bothers me… How many riddles / pieces of a puzzle are there in the entire poem? Do we break it down either by stanza 2 3 4 [seemingly the area in the poem that might contain the “9” pieces of information to find the chest, idea] or do we only consider stanzas 1 5 6 having riddle type information?
    Ken has always suggested the entire poem is a riddle. In some ways I agree. In other ways, I have to ponder if fenn’s comment only talks about a single riddle idea [ example stanza 5 or even HORNAO ] that might kick start it all.
    So with working on the concept presented, some of the things we’re told to consider;
    Need to know where to start
    Need start at the beginning
    Need to nail down WWsH or we don’t have anything
    Can’t go ‘looking’ for later clues [ that would be a folly]
    All seem to point to one idea… having the first line in stanza 2 understood.
    This brings me full circle to what or where or even how many riddle ideas can be in the poem to even consider the approach?
    – again, just to name a few; Every-?- line in the poem broken down as a riddle? [or all six stanzas]
    -The seemingly 3 stanza that might contain clue references? [2 3 4]
    -The other 3 stanzas? [1 5 6]
    -single stanza or line?
    The process or idea might be a good way of looking at the solving of the poem… but it also leads to many questions on how to proceed.
    LOL but it’s no more a headbanger than all the other ideas we have come up with…

    If I may… The ‘BrainDen’ concept seems a good place to start. However, as Loco pointed out, I’m of the belief the scale of the search location is relatively small. I’d have to wonder if the riddle concept might simply revolve around the area to search, rather than, each individual clue’s reference. The reasoning; A physical presence is needed after the first few [couple] of clues. I mention this because IF each clue is a riddle that can be solved from the poem, at home… only the last solved riddle is needed… eliminating the need to; riddle me WWsH, right?

    • Seeker-
      You asked:
      “…is there more than one riddle / puzzling thought to be solve?”
      That’s what I am trying to discern now…one riddle or many within the poem…
      I lean toward just one…with the various lines in the poem contributing to the “distillation” of that one riddle…
      But that’s just a concept to start with and has no footing that I can see…

      I believe there are all kinds of possibilities that I will have to play with down the road but in my leaky mind it’s important to “start” somewhere…

      • Yes Dal, you need to find the Begin location, but i just think it might be the End location as well! I found this location about two weeks ago, but its the first peace of the puzzle, which doesn’t help as i dont have the second piece…Wowl FF, u r genius!

        • If the Begin location is the End location as well, this suggests that
          a searcher would leave from one place, and return there. Doesn’t
          make a lot of sense to me, unless we consider the search (or other journey — such as life, maybe?) to be some kind of process-
          like thing in which we start somewhere and finish in the same
          place. Maybe it’s partially figurative/metaphorical/allegorical or
          some other fancy concept. I’d rather think in simple terms myself.
          As always, this is part of my oPInion, regardless of symbolism.

          • Not necessarily. The first thing to solve (maybe a riddle) could point to the correct starting point.

            Then as one gets to the possible end of the clues, one reaches the line- If you’ve been wise and found the blaze. The past tense of that line and need to be wise could refer to the beginning riddle. But at this point, you are not in the same place as the starting point.

      • Dal, I think the “start somewhere” concept is the only one we have at the outset, but if we don’t start we will achieve nothing. And maybe we don’t need to worry too much about solving the riddle – just the clues. Could it be that if we apply enough thought to the individual clues that the riddle will kind of solve (or at least resolve) itself?

        That said, riddles (along with many other things) have been “offered as positive solutions,” and I have to admit to times when I have not always managed to stay positive…

        • Vox-
          I certainly agree with that. The one advantage the “riddle” concept has over the conventional “nine clues” concept is only gained if all nine clues contribute to a single solution…otherwise how are nine riddles different from nine clues?

    • Seeker, i believe that everything you stated here is spot on.
      You nailed it.
      I have posted here the answers to the questions/structure that you propose. I tried to make this a fair race. Stated as my opinion once again (copyright pending)…
      Look closely at and go alone on an imaginative journey into, mountain vista, oldrich farsky, oil on canvas. Begin it wwwh hint, frozen mountain tops. Its all there, stanzas 2 3 and 4.
      When forrest was asked what is a blaze he stated not only what it could be but exactly what it is. Horse face marking on a rock (in red). Poisonivy has a particularly hard time wrapping his head around this but afterall forrest spent twice as long nailing down paintings as he did flying or fly fishing.
      I share this key information because although i feel im in the very location of indulgence, i cant seem to seal the deal and i want forrest to have his bracelet before, while…you know.
      This gets you more than half way there. Figure out how to utilize this good map and its game on.

  26. Dal, This was an excellent article about the poem written as a riddle. And to top it off, you gave us multiple examples of how this can be possible. For awhile now, I have believed the nine clues identify one smallish location. And I currently am using the only question in the poem to take me there… You said this better than I ever could have put this into words. Thank you for one of the greatest write-ups in the last few years!!

      • I’ll second the FB suggestion. Tried to leave a comment once and changed my mind when I saw it was linked to FB.

    • Hello Cynthia,

      Thank you for your reading of Forrest’s book, Educating Ardi. I really enjoyed seeing the book and hearing you read the story.

      I hope you won’t take this wrong, like I am acting like a know it all, but I think there is one serious flaw with using Forrest’s question, “So why is it that I must go, And leave my trove for all to seek” as the riddle. The fact is, he already answers that question in the next 2 lines. “The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.”

      I think it might be waste of effort to look for the riddle before solving the 9 clues. IMO once you solve the 9 clues, the riddle and its answer, will reveal itself, and it will act as confirmation that you have the correct solve.

  27. I like the idea, although it’s not a method I will use. I think if you understand the directions, and follow them specifically it’ll work. (Granted it’s summer , not winter ect). I think in other avenues if you understand wwh, have a job, and know what the blaze is you should just be yourself as Forrest poured bronze molds, not human ones.
    The riddle in itself is a tribute to the teacher I think. I think the location was known, but also created which is the larger riddle. Not the poem itself. He states you need the poem, and geography, not a huge understand of literature, or fancy writing. Ifn fancy write was requested I woulda bombed out a long time ago. Looking back I think there’s a 99percent chance i got tricked by a riddle in person, more than once treasure hunt both last year. People wearing mask and all. There’s some joker’s out in them there woods.

  28. Yes or No << Answers he already knows

    There are No shortcuts

    No one = Nobody

    Pho Shizzle #1 no lead searcher

  29. The first paragraph (page 9) in The Thrill of The Chase sets the tone for the entire story.

  30. Dal this is the best write up and SB I’ve seen in a couple years. Ff gave us the riddle in his book TTOTC . I also think he put the answers to the riddle in the book TTOTC and it’s been staring us in the face all this Time. Only Time will tell ! Keep up the good work . Ff states the Answer I already know. Is know the answer more of the question!

  31. In some ways the riddle seems a bit like a robot in a world of robots (that don’t know they’re robots) trying to understand what s/he is from a fragment of an ancient schematic.

  32. Fantastic Dal,

    I like this new approach, it lends itself to a new perspective. Personally I am not very good at riddles. So I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the fun.
    Looking at the poem and thinking, yeah a riddle fits nicely.
    For instance: WWWH. What is warm waters? and where does it halt? Many of a searcher has beaten the poem to death trying to answer those questions, myself included.
    A quick look at the poem, confirms that there is a singular answer to the questions the poem poses.

    Best wishes

    • To me, that is the key to the solve—knowing where to start. “Begin it where warm waters halt”. Consider this: In NM there is a river called the Ojo Caliente (hot eye, in Spanish). It “halts” at it’s source in a town called La Madera because two other rivers with other names join to form it. That is your beginning… Think about it, and the following clues fall into neat order like pages on a book if you can figure them out, but you need that starting point or you will be lost.

      • Hi, John, I had Ojo Caliente a few years ago. Hiked all the way from La Madera (the tree) up to Salt Lick, along and thru the Tusas. Beautiful. Pitched my tent atop a hill where a nice black horse with a white blaze poked his head in. Tres Piedras nearby, and see Mesa Vibora as well. There is a nice frog just south.

        • Hi 5 Girls, La Madera is actually “the wood” I believe, and that fits part of the riddle. The mountains nearby are “The Wood” mountains as well—La Madera. In his riddle he speaks of being wise and in the “wood”, not woods. Maybe just a coincidence, but an odd one. People normally leave a potential solve with their ideas smashed, but in many ways I am just even more drawn to this area. NM is a dry state with limited water, but my solve took me to a spot with a lovely spring with flowers on it, a beautiful waterfall, and all a short hike from the road, but hidden. And none of this could be imagined from looking at a map—you had to be there. Fenn has said the spot is special, and that spot certainly is. And furthermore, the clues fit like a glove up to the mystifying “blaze”. Lovely spot to see, even if I missed the chest.

          • John,
            Your blaze and the spot with wild flowers sound very mystifying. I think you should stick with it!!!
            I guess, the flowers must be brave to grow in the New Mexican wood.

  33. Riddles are excellent exercises in thinking about things in creative ways. They also often have a touch of humor to them. My personal favorite that always makes me chuckle is “When is a door not a door?”

    Maybe this is splitting hairs, but I believe that the poem is closer to a puzzle than a riddle. The pieces are hidden very well amongst non-pieces in the poem, in the books, in the scrapbooks, and on maps. Figuring out what the puzzle pieces are, putting them together in the right arrangement, and then connecting them to a geographic location are what I believe needs to be done in order to find the treasure.

    The main reason why I would shy away from focusing on riddles too heavily is that one Forrest quote:
    “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, RIDDLES, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” f

    Identifying what the puzzle pieces are is along the same path as solving a riddle, IMO.

  34. I’m still chasing my tail on riddle. Very interesting word… Like Batman and joker(I like the Lego one). I don’t know if it helps anyone but I think it means you can use( insert comma) it for everything. Not just treasure box. But life in general since nobody listens to anything other than what they want to hear, ex: the directions of the poem form. Poem, riddle, instructions, something else probably too.

  35. Nice write-up Dal. Here is what I think and IMO and I believe:

    There is a key word that will help a person solve each line as an anagram. The key word provides context for the resulting anagrams. There are also hints in the book for finding the correct anagrams (my advice: leave out the punctuation in the poem and anagrams). Those book clues are easy to spot because they seem strange or out of place within the stories.

    The anagrams themselves are enigmas (riddles but without question marks) with multiple meanings. One meaning is related to the context of the key word and simply slightly humorous, another meaning will help find a spot on the ground along the path consecutively from clues 1 to 9.

    They are all very very difficult and they all require BOTG to figure out. You have a lot of experience in (where I believe is) the general area, so you can probably do many of them from home now.

    Yes, there is a way to solve the poem without just guessing, I am pretty sure. You had the misfortune of hearing Forrest once say “don’t mess with my poem” and you may have interpreted that as don’t make anagrams. But the context for that outburst was changing spelling, grammar and capitalization, not rearranging the letters– I really think. And when you find a good one that fits the rules, it is quite exciting.

    Happy holidays.

  36. Thank you for this Dal n. This reminds me of how little I know. Out here on the prairie in a ice storm, ponderin, I now have something to look into. There’s some riddles for children for any other first time Riddler’s, I found in the Google.

  37. Here’s how I see another aspect of the riddle.

    Forrest has said, “They never knew that it was the chase they sought and not the quarry.” What if the process of trying to solve the clues is more important than the solution? And what if the riddle is gradually revealed via that process? In other words, the very act of engaging in the deep thought that the poem demands is the critical element in uncovering the author’s intention. In that way, although we are all still itching to know what’s at the end of this, we have already enriched ourselves immeasurably – and in ways that just wouldn’t have happened without our involvement in this madness.

  38. Forrest said to keep it simple…is imagining it to be a riddle simple?… I personally think it’s geographical instructions to a general location and to find the location you have to be wise lol

    • What you just described Dax, the act of solving the geographic locations through a cryptic collection of words, is in itself solving a riddle. So to imagine this exercise to be layered with multiple elements of riddle isnt that hard for me. After 10 years and as Forrest has said, more than a few people have found the first clue, and a lot of people have been within 500’, I’ve pretty much thrown the straight forward cookie cutter theory right out the window.

    • No well-defined amount of wisdom is necessary to solve the poem. But what
      the poem said about “wise” is important information. All IMO. Yawwwwwnnnn.

  39. Caller: “Hello, Mr.Obvious. I’ve got a question. Why are there two versions of the poem? One version says “answer”, the other says “answers”. And this word happens to be in the question, the riddle so to speak. Which one is correct? It makes a big difference.”

    Mr. Obvious: “Well caller. I don’t have an answer for you. I think you need to try both paths and see which one seems to make the most sense. Yea, that’s it. Try both paths.”

    Caller: “Doesn’t that mean a searcher has to do twice as much work?”

    Mr. Obvious: “ Sure does caller. That’s … obvious. And that’s the way it’s gonna be unless f tells us different. Better roll up your sleeves and dig in.”

    Caller: “Thanks Mr. Obvious. You’re the best.”

    • Why the horrible drama?

      We should agree on the version printed in the related follow-up book ‘Too Far To Walk’ where the word was printed as “answer”.

      If you are trying to make anagrams, I would assume there is a noun in the correct anagram that could be similarly pluralized without changing the general double- entendre meanings of the resultant phrase.

      • You do realize the poem posted on Dals’s site here for all to see (even ff) says “answers”, right?

      • No drama really but Mr. Obvious is right. There is the original version found in the book and the other versions (oops,meant to say version) found outside the book.

        • OK. Fact about two versions agreed. We will make of it what we will..

          But drama– yes. I was in a few high-school musicals and I recognize scripted lines.. It is a form of condescension which should be dissuaded.

          • I don’t think there is even a dispute that the correct version lies with the original and plural form. The dispute for me is, was the dropped s in too far to walk intentional or is it that line we been served that it’s just some errant typo that a rush job to the printer created? I do not believe any nonsense about forest dropping an s on the benchmark map on accident. Forrest knows that poem inside and out and back again, there’s no way that mistake wasn’t noticed by him or someone else in the editing process if it wasn’t intentional. I absolutely believe that Forrest dropped that s in an effort to draw our attention to the fact that he’s looking for multiple answers to multiple questions.

    • Mr. O-
      That question came up at the very start of the blog when I copied and pasted the poem from Forrest’s blog onto this one on the home page. Folks noticed almost immediately the difference between the poem in the book and the poem on the blog. Forrest actually answered a question about the difference by saying something to the effect…
      One is a typo. What difference does it make?

      I have not found the exact quote but if/when I do I will post it here.

      At that time there were a lot of searchers who were counting letters in the poem and using formulas to come up with a solution…and there were the crosstick searchers who were making grids out of the letters…
      One letter mattered to all of them…

      The implication was that counting letters or arranging the words in patterns to find new words was futile if it did not matter whether there was an extra letter…

      I’ll look for the location of that event…

        • Thanks Dal. I’m convinced it (answer vs answers) probably doesn’t matter to the searcher. I’m OK with that.

          • yes mr. O whether you answer one question or several (answers) to the touch screen (do touch) quizzes doesnt matter you may still continue the journey with your kids to the chest.

            i think.

        • Nice, very cool to see bits of the chase in it infantsy. Stuff I’ve not seen. Interesting to see it all as a whole, as it originally came about. Thanks Dal for finding the source link. That is why this site is the gold standard. If one is lacking a connection, others will help. To remain true to the words. g

          • Caught up in the idea I forgot to mention the other gold standard. Jennys Mysterious Writings. Both of which have been so important. Not just to the chase, but to me. Thanks, g

    • In an interview Forrest agreed with a question that referred to that as an unintentional clue. Meaning it was a mistake to omit the s, but that fact turns out to be a clue to something anyway. In my solve it’s a big clue as well.

  40. Mr O -Thank you for being so informative. I thought ff said there is only one path. has the path been blocked or changed to a different grid.? Twice the work?

    • Two ways of interpreting the poem. There is either ONE answer or there are MULTIPLE (who knows how many) answers to the question. Or each version of the poem is used for a different purpose. Who knows? Some answers just aren’t that obvious. I started thinking maybe one of the answers might be outside of the US. That could be interesting. Have the Chase end somewhere in the Middle East with an Indiana Jones ancient archeologist style ending maybe. Sorry, just got thinking outside the box.

      • Shooting arrows… collapsing stone floors…. rolling boulders….

        Now that should put the “Thrill” in the Chase! IMO

  41. Enjoyed reading the possibility, Dal. If we don’t know where warm waters halt, we don’t have anything. There’s one word in the poem that helps more, but we need the other words to locate Indulgence. The “map” will lead us there. I believe Mr. Fenn has said “riddle” in recent years. It’s something to consider.

  42. Alex Trebek: “And the answer is Stanzas 1 thru 4 and 6”.
    “What is ‘Why is is that I should go?’ Alex?”

  43. I don’t know if the poem is a riddle or not !!! but you can bet your last dollar on the fact that I am going to keep working on the solution to the poem till SOMEONE finds the chest .

  44. IMHO there is a riddle in the first line of the poem.
    The first two words of the poem (As I) refer to the famous southern gothic novel “As I Lay Dying”, which is entirely fitting given ff situation when compiling The Chase.
    Gone alon(e) could be an anagram for ” a long one” ie What is a long one to a dying man?
    Answer: a rest eg Rest in Peace.
    Interestingly, if you are in to that sort of thing, Treasure Bold is an anagram for Double Arrest .

  45. Yesterday’s news was the “Key” word. Today’s news is the “Riddle”. But what’s even more interesting is this … where’s the “Joker”? Cause I’m pretty sure the Joker is “Wild”. It’s right there in the poem. Happy New Year!

    • Hi Mr Obvious
      I believe the joker is standing in the middle of the tracks
      trying to revive a dead horse,what do you think

      • Hi, Mr. Obvius and Clint,

        My joker is allways Forrest as Maverick .
        And if Horse is going to be Live,
        Horseshoes have to Be Of Old Standard.

        Happy New Year to All. ikemal

        • Ali,
          Not sure your meaning here-
          “Horseshoes have to Be Of Old Standard.”

          Is this a quote from somewhere?

          I know Forrest did say-
          “If you start chasing horseshoes you may go crazy, but it’s the thrill of the chase,”

          Just find your comment interesting.

          Good luck,

          • Bur,

            I like watching your comments.
            It is important to follow a trail, I love a bird trail.

            Elsewhere, Forrest spoke of horseshoe in another way. It was like in a manner similar to “the length of a horseshoe weight”.
            That is important to me too.
            ANTS can be crushed.
            I love ANTS.
            Let them live in peace in nature in the future… As it was 200 years ago …

            How nice a comment from you.

            I wish happy new year and good luck.
            -Ali Kemal

          • Ali,
            I know your statement it’s in TTOTC book. I also found that interesting too.

            Thanks for your reply, and Happy New Year to you.


        • In my opinion, the Spirit of the Man rides his Horse to the place where the TC rests and where it will continue to live on in the thoughts of many for a long time!

          • I have loved that the SPiRit Of The Man Mickey,
            and felt like twin in many respects .

            İt has been surprising to me.

            Helpful, patient, respectful, teacher, versatile, fair, honest, but a little Maverick.
            To meet Him was privilege.
            He entered our lives in a very beautiful way and he will be inside us…

      • Clint –
        No idea what you are saying, but you got my attention nevertheless. One of my favorite lines of all time is credited to you. Go ahead, make my day. Haha.

    • Mr. Obvious,

      Please consider a name change.
      Imho the keyword is the answer that a riddle could provide.
      I’ll share a little about my search over the years. Shortly after Dal launched his 1st site I became a member, like many I beat the poem and map to death.
      Following every course, fo water from its head to it’s resting place. Then I took several years off to rehab a house in the Cali desert. I missed a lot of sb’s.

      My rehab did not allow for a lot of internet time, so all that was left was thinking about the poem when I was not thinking about what to do next and how to do it.
      It was only recently I returned to the blog. I have read many interesting concepts and theories as to how one might go about solving the poem.

      When dal posted his view that the poem could be a riddle. I looked at the poem in a different light and low and behold it was like a flash of light.
      So I will spell it out for all to see.

      ” Begin it where warm waters halt” = Home of Brown. ”
      Why? you say? Well, we took the canyon down and put in below…
      HoB. What did we do? We took the canyon down. Meaning that wwwh is still above us. Get it?

      Naturally, this is mho based on my observations.


      • Hi High –
        I can’t say I understand the name change suggestion. But in my solve (hold my beer, watch this) WWWH changed from point A to point B, after considering new info. It’s a technical thing.

        • Good morning Mr Obvious,

          Now if you are seeing what I am pointing out.
          Use that same view of the poem to work out more of it.
          I am in that process right now. My question to myself is how do these views link together? Currently, I see two strands. One being descriptive of the area and one providing direction.

          Imho, ” There’ll be no paddle up your creek. And the following clue Just heavy loads and water high ” are more descriptions of WWWH.


          • High again –
            Between you and Clint hanging out here, about all I can think of is “Go ahead make my day”.

  46. Dal’s idea that the nine clues all point to a singular place seems to violate Forrest’s comments about the nine clues. That was my response way upthread. I continue my objection here.

    I can find no justification in Forrest’s verbal comments for proposing that the nine clues all point to the same singular place. If we’re talking about just one place, then the order of the 9 clues in the poem would be irrelevant; we could use the blaze to find the chest, and maybe a couple others clues as confirmation.

    Instead, Forrest has said we must find WWWH first, then find the place represented by the second clue, then find the place represented by the third clue, and so on … in consecutive order.

    The following, taken from the Tarry Scant website, are quotes directly from Forrest concerning these nine clues. I have added CAPS for emphasis.

    Forrest said: “That’s right joseph, you should start with the first clue and follow the others CONSECUTIVELY to the treasure”.

    Forrest said: “Go to the first clue, and then the clues are CONSECUTIVE after that.”

    Forrest said: “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places [PLURAL] the clues refer to did.”

    Forrest said: “All you have to do is think about the nine clues and follow them [IN ORDER]”.

    Forrest said: ” … some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me … and then they [WENT RIGHT PAST] the other seven …”

    Most subsequent responses since mine have been congratulatory to Dal about his idea of the poem as a “riddle”. But what difference does it make whether we call the poem a puzzle, a mystery, a problem, a secret, or a “riddle”. These are all just labels. Searcher still has to solve the 9 clues.

    And the idea that those 9 clues all point to the same geographic place strikes me as blatantly contradictory to what Forrest has actually said.

    In my brief scan of subsequent responses in this thread, I did not find any poster who addressed this specific point, instead, just a lot of off-topic discussions.

    I think I know what the problem is; searchers do not have a comprehensive knowledge of Rocky Mountain geography. The usual search areas have been saturated, yet with no chest found. And so the assumption is that there must be a different way of looking at the poem; let’s look at it as a “riddle” with all 9 clues pointing to the same place.

    No. In my opinion, Forrest has made it quite clear how to solve the poem and find the chest. The nine clues must be followed in CONSECUTIVE order. And each clue represents a separate, specific location. Each clue is independent of the other clues.

    What’s needed is not some method that contradicts Forrest’s verbal comments, just a better understanding of geography.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Ken (in Texas),

      I will agree with your statements above.
      Each clue solve is in it’s own location and they are spread out over about a mile and a half in consecutive order in what I have found.
      Now can in that distance be considered that all the clues solves are in one place? Depends on how big of place-area you’re talking about. If saying all clue solves are within eye sight to each other, then I would say “no”.

      Good luck,


      • Hi Bur
        Imo the clues are in a 25 mi square area 25×25 =625 miles or take 25 and they are consecutive look at the
        big picture.figure out the riddles they will take you there

    • Ken, What is your definition of ~ a singular place? {I’ll ask Bur as well}

      I mean, depending on scale, YSP can be a singular place in the USA because of it unique geographical location, and at the same time the Grand Canyon of YS can be a singular place or YS lake within the park or a beach on the lake…. Even a single waterfall can be of a singular place with many places representing it, Top of falls, bottom of fall, water cascading between those two points, sides of walls/cliffs, pooling of waters, etc. all creating what would be known as a single place having different places within. Does that violate some unknown rule?
      Is a hot spring that merges with a cooler river not two geographical places creating one place? The two are separate geographical / geological created entities from different sources yet become / join as one place at a certain point… but both are needed to create that place. {two clues, one place?}
      ~ Geographic location refers to a position on the Earth. Your absolute geographic location is defined by two coordinates, longitude and latitude. {as Loco presented in his comment} Those places can be 10 feet or 5 feet apart.

      Fenn has given ideas of how we can perceive things differently; a mud puddle to an ant looks like an ocean, creases in the palm of your hand look like canyons etc…
      could it be that you [and others] have left out imagination when thinking about geography in the attempt to solve the poem?

      fenn has also used the term; the clues are contiguous; sharing a common border, joining, connecting, touching, adjacent…
      Why can’t clue references be contained within a very small area… such as a waterfall, for example? Is that not a singular place with different places making it up? It has a water source, a canyon down, it puts in below etc…. What violations are being done with that line of thinking?

      You place a comment from fenn: Forrest said: “All you have to do is think about the nine clues and follow them [IN ORDER]”.
      Ok, what definition of the word “Follow” are you using to define the intent of his comment?
      In that comment fenn said; “*Think* about the clues and follow them”… Follow can simply mean “understanding” what is presented in front of you… in a relatively small area where the physical clue’s references can be seen.
      “Think” definition; {about the clues}; direct one’s mind toward someone or something; use one’s mind actively to form connected ideas.

      I’ll close with this thought ~ It’s not a matter of trying, its a matter of thinking, I mean, people figured the first couple of clues and unfortunately walked past the treasure chest.~
      I wonder how large of an area that might be to accomplish that?

      • Ken, What is your definition of ~ a singular place? {I’ll ask Bur as well}

        Seeker, to me a singular place is a small area. This area if related to clue solves would be a area where “all” the solves can be visually seen from the first clue solve.
        I’m in disagreement with this.

        My clues solves are at different geographical locations. The only place you can visually see another clue solve is at the general place of the first clue wwwh, but not the physical place of where it happens.

        Now since I do not have the blaze clue solved yet, this might be another clue solve where you can visually see a prior clue solve, but I’m not sure.

        Seeker, I have explained my path of each solve a few times.
        I can see how a searcher could have solved the first two clues and walk by the other seven, and also be within 500’ of the place indulgence is hidden, at my search area.

        Seeker, with all the input and questions you ask here, are you any closer to figuring out the area of where the poem clues lead? Or are you just helping other searchers with looking at all the different avenues or possibilities this chase should be looked at?

        Good luck,

        • Last question first; I’m here to BS with the best of ya’ll. Same as everyone else.

          Personally, I don’t believe we can get any closer from home than the first two clues. I don’t think we will know what we are looking at until we discover it in the field and know what to do at that point. IMO, that is the confidence level… to know what it is we should keep and eye out for [ such as the clue’s reference for hoB] and knowing beforehand what it is we need to do on site.
          fenn knew all the answers to his created slues, yet he still followed his clues when he hid the chest..Riddle me this; how do you know the answers and not know the outcome?

          [ps. I’m bad at making up riddles]

          Because you need to see what will happen.

        • Okay, so, how many clues minimum need to be solved to find the chest? I hear everyone saying clues need to be solved, so how many? I thought it was only the last? And I thought f didn’t give the answers to WWWH, blaze, and hoB in any subtle way? But yet, you can reverse engineer from hoB to find WWWH. So, obviously, you can reverse engineer from the chest area to WWWH, needing only to solve one clue.
          All this would back up what Seeker is saying, observation.
          It also sounds like needing knowledge of geography that will help is putting an “X” on a map, then reverse engineering to find the start spot. (I won’t repeat that you will find the end spot before you find the start). But if we are to look at the poem as solving riddles, this would constitute the answers to be in some form of being “subtle”. So even if this is a way to go, you won’t find the answers to WWWH, blaze, or hoB this way.
          The only way I see it is that if you are solving riddles, then the answers will be numerical. Giving up coordinates, or your “x” on a map.
          It could be that the different levels of the poem may involve riddles, may need other ways to solve for things, and may use observations. It will go to the one who can best “adjust”.
          Riddles or not, should we really just look at solving this thing one way? Some key word opens up the entire poem, or breaking down the lines, or misspelled words, abbreviations, words within words, solving a riddle, it seems that f has the ability to tie a lot of different possibilities together.
          So, even though cyphers, or riddles, or codes, etc…etc…etc… will not assist anyone to the chest location, those things could come to play in a “positive” way. Why didn’t he say they would result in a negative outcome?
          So, not only are riddles possible in the poem to solve, it’s very likely they will play a positive role. The thing is to not get confused on riddles and clues, they cannot be all the same. Or you wouldn’t be able to use the word “solve”, which is what you do with riddles. Compared to clues, which could be “observed”.
          In the end, riddles would play a small role if any, because they need to be solved, in which case the ATF of “subtle” comes into play. If anything, riddles should be something on the lines of “hints”, things that may help in finding the clues.
          Seeker, I can see your point, and it’s very plausible. Even though I don’t fully believe that you can see all clues from WWWH, I can see where you might think that way. The only thing I see working against that thought is just the simple thought that f did not hide the chest close to civilization. And, even though you may be up high at WWWH looking down at all the clues, they would in turn be spread out over a distance. Plus, the flip side to look at NFBTFTW. If it’s too far to walk, and if you are walking long distances you are walking “too far”, then it looks like there is a long distance involved. Too many searchers take that as not walking far, or it’s way too far to walk, but when f defines it in an ATF, it’s hard to dispute. It’s not “far” that we have to walk, it’s “too far”. And, “too far” equals long distances. So, we actually have a long distance “to walk”. So at one point, the observations need to stop, and the actual walking must begin. So I can also understand what Ken is saying. There’s going to be multiple ways of solving this thing that will in the end be all brought together for one solve. All, IMO.

          • To answer your question, because you have it reversed. You will know the outcome, which in turn will give you the answers.
            You will know the end spot, which will answer where warm waters halt.
            With the finish you will know the start, and everything in-between will be answered.

    • Excellent Ken! : “And the idea that those 9 clues all point to the same geographic place strikes me as blatantly contradictory to what Forrest has actually said.”

      As the elephants tromp the ants.

  47. Ken, you present a very cogent and compelling case, and I think you’re absolutely right… save for one small point, which you even allude to in your own answer.

    I’m not going to point it out, but would simply revert to my post above which suggests a simple test for throwing out solves that, according to Forrest’s own statement about shortcuts, cannot be correct. What I will say is that yes, IMO, you have to find the individual places that are represented in the poem, but you CANNOT find the end point without solving ALL of the clues. However, believe it or not, that does not mean Seeker’s hypothesis is incorrect, merely incomplete. Again, all in my opinion.

    • I dont agree with the notion of a small area solution. IMO, the solution area is huge. At the same time I see most of the nine clues as individual riddles that must be solved in sequece to get to the hiding spot.

        • I agree, and also disagree. My “Big Picture solve” covers an area about 10 miles X 10 miles. My “Small Area Solve” covers an area of about 1.5 miles X 1.5 miles, with most of the clue “places” within a circle that is less than 500′ in diameter. JDA

      • I’m not sure that the sequence is too important – at least in the early stages. Much more important is leaving nothing out. Consider this from Mysterious Writings (

        “Do you think that someone who is sure about the location of the home of Brown could reverse-engineer where warm waters halt? ~Ben Raylor

        Thanks for the question Ben.
        If you are sure about the location of home of Brown why are you concerned about where warm waters halt? But to answer your question, sure you could and a few searchers might throw in some gas money for a percentage of the take. Good luck.f”

        Note that although Fenn agrees that you can reverse engineer WWWH, he does not say that WWWH then becomes unimportant. He simply asks Ben why he’s concerned about WWWH. It’s classic Fenn. People assume he’s said something else instead of reading and comprehending what’s actually there.

        And don’t forget the comment about gas money. There is distance involved here. But again, that doesn’t mean Seeker’s scenario is mistaken; it’s just missing something very important. All IMO.

        • Vox,

          That Q&A you posted is a riddle of itself.
          You pick up on the idea that miles must be involved because gas was mentioned.

          The real question is; can we be “sure” of hoB before leaving [our homes] to go on a search?
          The question in fenn’s answer might be asking us; Why we should be concerned about the first clue.
          Some probable answers;
          If we don’t know it, stay home.
          If we don’t know it, we don’t have anything.
          You can’t go looking for later clues if you don’t have the first clue nailed down. It will be a nice vacation and an expensive folly.

          • Seeker, you might want to ask yourself why I think your approach still has merit, even if my WWWH and hoB are not within walking distance and I don’t believe that we’re going to be able to visualize everything in one place. Weird, huh? 😉

      • *Your destination is small, but its location is huge.

        “ITS” location? is huge…?
        How is huge used in this WW post?
        What is ITS location?

        In this case; riddle me this, What is ITS?

        It seems to me the destination [ITS] is small.. but ITS Location is huge, may not be about size when referring to huge. The statement clearly says; “your destination is small.” but something ‘about’ that location is huge….

        • The statement clearly says; “your destination is small.” but something ‘about’ that location is huge….

          Seeker, I would think the “big picture” is huge, but I believe Forrest just might be referring to “its” as to “canyon down” as for the location being huge. Of course where the chest is hidden is small compared to its. Imo


          • You’re using huge as to mean size, Bur.
            Why can’t it be something of importance?

            If that is what was meant [ importance ], It would seem to me that the location might have a geographical importance to be considered.

          • I agree Bur, I think that the “Canyon Down” is huge when compared to the place that Indulgence is secreted. All a matter of scale I think – JMO – JDA

          • Seeker – You make a good point. Huge in importance. There is something (a couple of things) that one can fine in my small search area that are of HUGE importance to actually finding Indulgence.

            Since you have used “Time” a number of times in your thought processes – my HUGE “Things” seem to fit right in . HUMMM???? JDA

          • Well guys,
            Seeing we’re talking about riddles…

            An 80 yr is not going down… blah blah blah.
            If it’s possible that we should traverse a canyon, then ‘down’ needs some clarification, right?
            Should ATIBTCD be of a direction, rather than a movement, and assuming that line is clue 2… “down” should relate to a map.
            The size of the canyon doesn’t seem to imply. IF there’s no movement of a searcher to go down into said canyon,
            the area of where WWsH has changed in the case. Only what direction fenn wants someone to look towards. He even says its; “Not Far…” But adds It’s too far to walk. LOL well when you walk, drive, shuttle or shuffle, or call for an Uber, what is it that you are doing?

            I’ll help ya out.. you’re leaving.
            Can this idea of a “riddle me this” pertain to the idea; “But too far to walk” meanings don’t walk away from where you are at-?- because “Not Far” – you should be able to see what it is you’re looking at?

            “Take it in” as a movement vs. “Take it in” as an observation.
            LOL if fenn says don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t, well, I’m not leaving to go into a place where an 80 yr old is not going up and down.

            I can see why many here won’t adhere to the idea… they are more concerned about where later clues are, somewhere down the imaginary line.
            Only I don’t see the poem telling anyone to leave where they started in those three line lines of stanza 2.
            If they could actually move to what is expected as a “place” to “put in” ~ more than the first two clue would have been needed / solved to actually achieve that. [ of course, depending on how you personally count stanza 2 amount of clues. ]

        • Seeker, I can only related to my solve area.
          You ask many questions but “canyon down” is huge in size and huge to the solve for the chest location. It’s like the first clue, if you don’t have it correctly, you have nothing. The canyon down is more then one direction, you need the hoB to define the correct canyon down direction to follow. Remember I said the “big picture” (the area around the area) is huge, in size.

          Those that had the first two clues solved just happen to take the correct canyon down but went to other locations farther down “it” for the rest of their solves, which I have seen in posted solves of this area early in the chase.
          Are these the same searchers Forrest is referring to, I believe so.

          As far as you can travel down this canyon down, there are only two legal ways for a adventurer or a searcher to travel this trail.

          Thanks for asking questions, but I won’t answer all to help keep my area free of other searchers but that is not a given.


  48. Dal, I think you’re on to something here. In my opinion:

    The first two clues provide geographic place using the key.

    The next seven clues are enigma riddles. The answers to each clue are in the book. Each clue has more than one answer. That’s really important.

    But how to use the answers?

    The answers to each riddle / clue are tied together using the key that is also in the book. You’ve also seen the key, if you have the book. Almost everyone, to my uncertain knowledge, has overlooked the key.

    That’s how you solve the puzzle.

  49. I Love this , Dal! I have recently been on the same thought process lately. The question in the poem begs to be answered and I am dying to know .
    It doesn’t help me get closer to the chest, but I don’t believe that’s the important part. Forrest is trying to get us to see the bigger picture. What’s truly important.
    Thank you Dal.

  50. Thanks for talking about riddles Dal. I agree this is the way to go. That said, there are a few conflicting quotes from Forrest:

    “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f”

    Isaac Cole podcast 5/8/2017: “The last time I was up there (Yellowstone and West Yellowstone) was in 1950.” 13:06 It’s hidden in a pretty good place. You’ve got to solve the riddle in the poem.” “You can’t ignore any of the nouns in that poem.” 30:40

  51. I like your thinking Dal, I would add that Forrest is an enigma. Imagination is key, without that you cannot see what Forrest wants you to see. Do you see what he sees? Is the alligator a rock in the river you must get past? Are you looking out the window at the Rusty fire escape ? The Riddles are in his books, when you unlock them they give you a geographical location. All in my opinion. I think Forrest has given us All we need!

    • BEC-
      I see many things and learning which ones to ignore and which ones to embrace is my problem. So far I have not been all that wise in my choices, but I learn best by trying, so I think my selection process is getting better.

      • If you start seeing Ducks, Alligators, Cats, Slides, Indians, White Buffalos and the Virgin Mary you just might be in the right place. Hope to meet you this summer. Enjoy your retirement! Spring cannot come Quick enough.

      • Sometimes it is not what we ignore or include that is important, it could be what we delete.


    • BEC One thing you hav’ta remember if there’s one Alligator there’s more. Each of us see things differently. Do you see what ff see’s.? We All have our paths to follow. Happy trails to all treasure hunters. There are Millions of treasures to be found.Your effort will be worth the journey you Take.

      • Thanks Woody, Yes you are correct, there are two alligators! Happy trails and a healthy New Year too you!

        • I actually agree with you BEC. there are two alligators, along with a jester/joker, owl, a long horn skull, and a spade/arrowhead. That’s the landscape/blaze, well mine anyway, lol, good luck…

        • Watch out for snakes there seem to be quite a few in the mountains N of Santa-fe I’ve seen a few C-R-J-D i grew up around them.

          • Woody, if I remember correctly, you live up in Northern Montana. Knowing that snow is all over Montana, when would you say that the search season starts in Montana? March, April, May, or June? (actually, I should say the soonest, so leave out June). Roughly, near and around the Pintler’s.

        • I agree,
          millions of treasures
          what are up to our mind .
          Conections with each other.
          Let’s save iron gallop.

          So, salute to riders of the sky
          and friends of clouds.

          Merry new year.

  52. Hi JDA
    My search area is 25 square mi in the end Forrest is going to lead you to the
    place where the chest is at and you will not miss it.this is the only small
    place that I know of.its like a small box canyon one way in

    • Good Luck to Ya’ Clint in the spring or early summer. Even a small box canyon can hold a ton of 10″ X 10″ X 5″ boxes. You MAY still have a lot of searchin’ to do. 🙂 JDA

      • Hi JDA
        My USMC brother how you doing,did you have a good
        Christmas and thanks for come back.

  53. Those horrible words do remind me of someones hand on the Guillotine…awaitin moderation…


  54. I don’t know if this quote from Forrest supports or helps anyone here but I played the recording of FF saying this (to the NYT reporter in 2016) on THOR’s YouTube show Dec 2nd.
    “Find where warm water halts and let THAT take you to the puzzle…” There are no typos here, he actually used the singular word “water”. And he emphasized the word THAT when he said it. So going by this quote from ff, it seems that WWWH is not part of the puzzle/riddle. But we have to find the correct WWWH to begin the path of consecutive/contiguous remaining 8 clues (the puzzle/riddle) to find the treasure chest.

    • Where Warm Waters Halt, Scrapbook 237 is a good place to begin. Scrapbook 241 is where it all ends. IMHO Where are the crosses leading you?


    • Cynthia, thanks for quoting this. I have come to realize that this is the crux of the chase. We all know WWWH, and yet some of us have erected border walls around it, because it scares us to death. In order to understand where we need to go we must dismantle the wall and allow WWWH to lead us to the “riddle.”

      Although this is my opinion, I believe it wholeheartedly. It took me a long time to realize that this was what the chase was about. The poem is an invitation. If we accept, we may be in for a very bumpy ride. But the things that we see along the way will be truly magical.

      If this post doesn’t get nuked, I expect it to be mocked. But that doesn’t matter. I think more and more searchers are coming to understand that there is something very special about this treasure hunt. What lies beneath the surface is colossal. And I really don’t believe it can be solved without accepting the invitation and grappling with the riddle.

      Elsewhere, Sherif Billy has posted a reference to some stunning poetry that may have some relevance to the mindset that created the chase. But I don’t think you need to have any particular “allegiance” to participate or progress in this endeavor. Much more important is an open mind, IMO, and in fact partisanship may be detrimental.

      The one question I would ask is, why are we here? Is it just for money, fame or ego? Or is there some faint echo heard at the outer limits of perception, something from beyond the barricade clamoring for attention?

      • voxpops … I have no intention of “mocking” your message. But when you make statements like “… one must dismantle the wall and allow WWWH to lead us to the ‘riddle’ …”, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        You ask: “Or is there some faint echo heard at the outer limits of perception, something from beyond the barricade …”

        You sound like you’ve entered into some kind of ethereal, airy realm where finding the chest is not the point of the treasure hunt.

        My interest in this hunt is finding a physical box, located somewhere in a physical location that can be searched by my physical body.

        Hope you have not given up on searching for this physical box.

        Ken (in Texas) 🙂

        • Lol, Ken! I’m still very much an overweight, late middle-aged, unnervingly physical entity, searching for a physical box in a physical location! And I think that finding said box may be revealing in more ways than one.

          At the same time I cannot ignore either the events that have occurred during my own six-year hunt or the many veiled and riddle-esque statements by FF, which point to something deeper than what appears on the surface. I wrote a story about my late September trip which I submitted to Dal a few weeks back, but pulled at the last minute as it seemed way too personal and whacky, peppered as it is by some odd occurrences that some would find hard to swallow. But this is what happens when you allow the clues to lead you, rather than imposing an “agenda.” Maybe I should post and be damned – it wouldn’t be the first time! 😉

      • For me, the tune that voxpops is relating to is one of emotions. Sadness, joy, and expression allows an individual to touch the heart of the poem as Forrest has envisioned it.

        It allows true freedom to explore one’s mind, as well as nature, in an individual’s search for the treasure. Never limited to merely the physical, the poem’s riddle and solve are found in one’s freedom of spirit… a freedom that allows searching in completeness.

        Anyone can hunt for physical gold, but Forrest’s invitation seems to be one more of spiritual gold and being in tune to nature. If we miss that, we miss the “Thrill of the Chase”!

        Consequently, if we have no desire for that spiritual journey, the physical treasure will allude us also.



        • I would argue that such a spiritual journey is just as likely to distract you from the goal — assuming your goal is to find and recover Forrest’s treasure chest as opposed to just enjoying the splendor of the great outdoors.

          Omphaloskepsis, Magic 8 Balls and Ouija boards are not going to help you solve Forrest’s clues … unless you are using those tools to maintain your personal interest and persistence in the Chase. Creativity, critical logical thinking, and doggedness are the trifecta what will get you there.

          • Zap, your final sentence is spot-on in my opinion, but just lacks one thing. Throughout my search I have repeatedly come across three plus one. Three sides of a square, with one missing; a square stone, with one corner broken off; a runway 31 and 13; even the CIA (3 + 1, with “me” in the middle)! So if I were to add one to your trifecta it would be “to listen.” And I’m sure you wouldn’t want to dismiss what is actually written in the poem.

            IMO, the clues require you to listen, and then to follow. It’s not distracting in the conventional sense, just a little strange and rather wonderful. You begin to learn when to pay attention and then you do your best to heed what comes to you. It’s a heck of a learning curve, though.

            Zap, you’re one of the most logical and thoughtful people in the chase, and so I’m a little surprised you haven’t yet twigged that there’s something beyond the superficial in this whole enterprise. It’s surely not just for some eccentric millionaire’s amusement, or even just a philanthropic gesture. I think this is why FF said that it is the person who can best adjust that is going to succeed. If one’s mind is too rigid, it ain’t gonna happen.

          • Hi Voxpops: I thank you for the Spock-like compliment, and I fully admit to being focused purely on a classical puzzle-solving solution to Forrest’s challenge. I don’t think of this treasure hunt as “superficial,” per se, but I do think it’s primarily a what-you-see-is-what-you-get problem.

            Is Forrest’s Chase really any different from the many other treasure hunts that have preceded it, such as Masquerade? Perhaps. The Chase enjoys a lot more publicity, no doubt thanks to Forrest’s own remarkable life, his continuing engagement with searchers, the size of the prize, and of course the Chase’s ever-increasing longevity. And because so many folks are actively engaged, it is also a competitive race … though more like a marathon than a sprint.

            “It’s surely not just for some eccentric millionaire’s amusement, or even just a philanthropic gesture.”

            I agree, but you left out the most obvious reason: legacy. Forrest is acutely aware of his mortality, probably more so than most given that he has cheated death on a few occasions. He’s mentioned the Rosetta Stone, has an intense interest in ancient cultures, has encouraged everyone to write their own memoirs, and has made it clear on many occasions that he wants to continue to influence the future long after he’s gone. (Thus the bronze bells and jars.) In a sense, he is guaranteeing that he’s “taking it with him.” The longer the Chase continues, the greater the mystique.

            So that, I think, was Forrest’s main motivation. Yes, he recognizes that kids (and adults) are more sedentary and overweight than they were when he was growing up, and he’d rather see them out hiking, fishing, birding, hunting, and smelling the sunshine than sitting on the couch with their Xboxes. But that’s more a recognition of a problem, and Forrest’s attempt at a solution by creating a healthy diversion that instills childlike wonder, adventure and the thrill of discovery. What I think really drives Forrest is what drives most of us: he wants to be remembered.

          • Zap, can’t and wouldn’t disagree with any of your thoughts on the chase in your two posts above, but I’ll add a little bit… there is going to be a large chunk of luck to go with the creativity, logical thinking… etc…

            sort of the “right place at the right time”..

            (not the place of the chest, but someplace that cracks open an idea that oozes out a clue/answer/riddle or some combination)

          • Writis: agree about “luck” or good fortune playing a part. 3 1/2 years ago, the keyword I use simply popped into my head while I was asleep, showing that the subconscious can be better at creativity or spotting patterns than trying to brute force things while awake. And sometimes while out walking the dog and not thinking about the Chase at all, I’d spot something that would trigger an idea.

        • Hi,
          after all these words, I understand that it is important and valuable to search and find in every way that is available, rather than physically seizing it.
          This record reminds me of the little girl from India; hypothetically, to what extent does one deserve the treasure if only one can find and prove it, but physically impaired?

          • By tthe way, sometimes it all reminds me of the “gold rush” times.
            In my opinion, Forrest is re-spreading treasure to all states and nature, emphasizing an important message and creating an opportunity to avoid some mistakes.
            Especially thanks to Forreste.
            And to Dal, of course, his efforts for Chase are admirable.
            Good luck to everyone.

    • The clues after WWWH will lead you to the puzzle/riddle, which is at the last clue. This is where the THAT or “T-hats” are located. So that’s that.

  55. Upthread, Seeker wrote: “Ken, What is your definition of ~ a singular place? {I’ll ask Bur as well}
    I mean, depending on scale, …”

    Oh I didn’t think you wanted to talk about “scale”. Always in the past every time I mentioned “geographic (map) scale”, you’d respond disdainfully.

    My “singular place” is an area ~ 20 feet wide by 30 feet long. It probably can be searched in a few minutes.

    And the term “riddle”, as used by Dal and posters here, to me is nothing more than answering the question >>> Were is this singular place? Where is the chest hidden? You use the 9 clues to answer that riddle.

    Begin the process by finding the singular place that corresponds to WWWH. Each subsequent clue gets you progressively closer to the final destination of the chest. To me, that is the extent of the term “riddle”.

    In my opinion, WWWH is nowhere near where the chest is hidden. The two are separated by miles and miles. But, you have to begin at WWWH and work your way toward the chest.

    A lot of searchers, maybe most, want to plant the 8 subsequent clues within walking distance of each other. I think that is folly. Forrest has said that if you’re walking long distances, you’re walking too far.

    So the walk, or hike, has to be relatively short. Why then would you need 8 clues compacted into such a small area? In this sardine-can-sized area, you could simply hike back and forth in the sardine can until you found the chest, by default; no clues needed.

    I think the 9 clues cover a much larger area. Each clue is independent of all the others. So if you make a mistake at clue number 3, or at clue number 6, for example, you have nothing. Mistakes can be made up to and including clue 8, and perhaps even 9.

    This process thus negates taking shortcuts, and requires correct identification of all 9 clues, one after the other.

    I don’t know why this process is so difficult for searchers to grasp, except maybe to defend their current incorrect solution since they have spent so much time on it; starting over isn’t fun. I would say that long-time searchers who are still looking need to examine their underlying assumptions.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Ken, as I am with you on there being distance with the clues, and that WWWH is no where near the final spot, I do think it is a walk.
      Yes, f has said that if you are walking long distances you are walking “too far”, but, in the poem he also said that it’s not “far” but “too far” to walk. So, what is it that we have “to walk”, he answers with “too far”. And, if “too far” equals a long distance, then it is a long distance we have “to walk”.
      I also thing that there is only one way in and one way out, making the clues on your path having to be followed. Which is why no shortcuts. But I also do not think that the clues are all that important. They’re just clues that you are on the right path. What’s important is the solve and the “x” on a map. With that “x”, you will find the start spot, the path you must follow, and thus the clues followed. That “x” will cover 8 clues, and contain the “secret” f is talking about. Solving the last clue from the “x” will give the chest. But, for me, the searcher will be walking from the start spot, WWWH. And it’s a long distance to walk.

    • Ken, I think you’re correct about the distances involved, but there’s one thing that might help those who are still struggling with how ALL the clues MUST be in place. I would use the analogy of navigating by the stars. In order to sail from one place to another, you can “read” the stars to guide you, but you don’t need to travel light years in order to reach your destination. However, if the pole star is obscured, you may have problems.

    • Ken (in Texas),
      Have you seen this?

      “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

    • ace340 … I have started over from scratch a number of times. My current solution may or may not be correct, but I am satisfied with it. There’s no way to know if any solution is correct until searcher is physically on site.

      And the idea of some metaphysical or philosophical “riddle” that we need to understand, divorced from the 9 clues, seems to contradict what Forrest has said, verbally.

      If my response here doesn’t answer your question, kindly be a bit more explicit.


      • In fact, if a searcher hasn’t started over at least once or twice, I don’t see taking them very serious. Starting anew is definitely going to happen.

  56. Lol, Ken! I’m still very much an overweight, late middle-aged, unnervingly physical entity, searching for a physical box in a physical location! And I think that finding said box may be revealing in more ways than one.

    At the same time I cannot ignore either the events that have occurred during my own six-year hunt or the many veiled and riddle-esque statements by FF, which point to something deeper than what appears on the surface. I wrote a story about my late September trip which I submitted to Dal a few weeks back, but pulled at the last minute as it seemed way too personal and whacky, peppered as it is by some odd occurrences that some would find hard to swallow. But this is what happens when you allow the clues to lead you, rather than imposing an “agenda.” Maybe I should post and be dam^ed – it wouldn’t be the first time!

    (Used a naughty word in first attempt, so got moderated!)

  57. Morning Dal!

    Great riddle! « Begin it in the corner but travel round the world.« 

    You could have said, « Crush it in the corner »

    Have fun entertaining this Amazing audience!

  58. “When the sun’s coming up I’ve got cakes on the griddle…
    ….now life ain’t nothing but a funny,funny RIDDLE”.

    Yep…..poems a riddle
    Yep life’s a riddle
    Yep….clues are a riddle
    Rocky Mountains sure are a riddle
    Google Earth is really a riddle

    But what is the biggest riddle of all is that hot weather girl with a cold heart that can’t solve the riddle of how to turn the dials on the snow machine to make it stop!

    A RIDDLE just means…. An unanswered question/ questions.

    Until we figure out ALL the clues…..the poem is just a riddle, and thank ya all fer lett’in me play my fiddle

    • Guy Michael, hi,

      You have asked the biggest riddle and you gone to play the fiddle.

      Isn’t that a needle?
      Can’t we turn paddle?
      But surprise, a little,
      Just on both saddle.

      Still liked your approach.

      • Guy Michael, hi,

        Eski doğu geleneğinde
        Bir çeşit “çekişme” var.
        Kuatrainlerle bir tür tatlı meydan okuma.
        İçerik kaba görünse de, samimi konuşma içindir.
        Başka bir deyişle, mecazi referanslar sayısız ve samimidir.
        Bu bağlamda umarım düet yanlış anlaşılmamıştır.

        Happy new year.

        • Guy Michael, hi,
          In old traditional approaches
          there is some kind of “contention..
          Some kind of sweet challenge with quatrain.
          Although the content may seem a bit harsh, it is purely humorous and for intimate conversation.
          In other words, metaphorical references are numerous and sincere.
          In this context, I hope the duet is not misunderstood.

          Happy new year.

    • Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….

      “There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.”

  59. There are many places where warm waters halt in the Rockies, A Spanish wash basins is what we have in SC Book 237, that is not an opinion, it is more likely a fact, if one is truly observant of the SC Books since this Chaos began at 209 we can clearly develop a tight focus on a line to begin to Embroidery this picture that is about to develop, on where ff is leading us….if SC Book 241 and 242 does not send your a message to keep your nose up or your nose is too high, then your are looking for something in a place where nothing ixists…if you take the image of the 241 3rd pic and do a right click copy, rotate and enlarge the center, it will all become much clearerer to you too. Blex has seen the light and you can too, but our Winter Thoughts must go from Chaos to stiching this Embroderier or should we rivett this old basin together? Now what did me and Bobby McGee wait for? Now you could be on the right track, but Eric Sloane holds the key…begins with a C and ends with deception, hidden in plane sight……….


    • PS, ff did not invent the term WWWH, but he certainly recycled it to mean something completely different, and we all start there when we search for it….and our razor sharp focus begins it where?


      • Why is there a housing of a mirror in SC Book 211, what is above your wash basin? Why do we need to find a requiem for a wreck, what is a box elder maple family tree got to do with a maple leaf stolen from the White House lawn in SC 213, does the name Charles J. Guiteau mean anything to an Elder Statesman?


  60. Do Beavers have a paddle, does a Duck have lips? You can’t swing a dead cat by the tail up there without hittin a clue or a hint…
    Just read Winter Thoughts by TT here, there and everywhere to put you on the right tract.


  61. Just my take but I don’t think the question in the poem is a riddle or that it will have an impact on helping find the tc.

    I think the riddle will be like figuring out a recipe from certain ingredients.

    • FD;

      I wholeheartedly disagree.I think that the fifth stanza, taken as a whole, is one of the most important stanza’s in the poem. For me, without understanding it, you will go away from the blaze empty-handed, and will never understand Stanza #6, which will take you to Indulgence – JMO – JDA

      • That’s rather late in your quest kind of stuff, if it’s true that those two stanzas are important.

        I wasn’t inclined to think I needed to go to the blaze.

        I think recent words from f has reinforced that the 2 stanzas you speak of are not as important as you believe.

        • “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
          Look quickly down, your quest to cease.”

          If you see the blaze from a distance, that leaves a lot of territory to cover when looking down “or “your quest to cease” doesn’t it FD? By getting closer to the blaze – maybe going right to it, decreases your search area quite a bit I would think.

          Not sure what recent comments by Forrest negate the value of the last two stanzas – JMO – JDA

          • If you see the blaze from a distance, that leaves a lot of territory to cover when looking down “or “your quest to cease” doesn’t it FD? By getting closer to the blaze – maybe going right to it, decreases your search area quite a bit I would think.
            I disagree with that. One could possibly vector a blaze from a distance while one is traveling a shoulder width wide dry creek and it would actually pinpoint to a spot of within a foot or less for any searcher. The distant blaze could come into view at a certain point because of how the terrain masks/unmasks it.

            I’ll shoot you an email about the rest as it doesn’t pertain to this riddle thread.

  62. Sheese Dal,

    You know we’ve all been waiting for these!! You sneak ’em in the back door and we have to learn about it from Cynthia??

    (now, if you posted about them and I missed it, I do profusely apologize!! 🙂 )

    ** Did these interviews play any part in your investigating the possibility of a small area solve and/or a riddle!!! **

    As always……..luv ya guy……..loco

  63. As 1 have gone alone in there.

    I believe the first line contains a riddle and also hints at the answer. A lone I = 1. I’m not sure what it means yet, but singularity is one guess. I have another, but I’m not ready to share that one yet!


  64. Personally, starting with “Begin it where warm waters halt” and ending with the last bit about the “blaze”, I think nearly every line is a riddle or a form of one. A couple words might be used simply to have the poem rhyme… Without the starting point, I think that makes it nearly impossible to solve. In one of the old Zork games, there was a typical sort of riddle: What is tall as a house, round as a cup, and all the king’s horses can’t draw it up? Answer: A well. Fenn has done much the same with much of his riddle. Don’t look for the obvious—if there is any, but don’t look for ridiculously outlandish things either. Tricky, but honest—just my opinion.

  65. The book TTOTC is full of ff riddles sort of . When he writes page 100 and 101 the stories that made him think ,forest is reading lines of imagination and interpretation of things that are written in stone. That is why he writes in riddles and also WWWH. The poem he also has written in this method also. There is a progression to the stories and the poem from start to finish. IMO (From the canyon down) IMO. Only Time will tell !

  66. the poem is not a riddle. the poem is step by step directions to the chest. IMO
    so easy a kid can do it.
    baby steps
    (gettin warmer)
    put one foot in front of the other.
    best foot forward.
    where heels high!
    now take it!

    i think.

  67. Dal, excellent ideate… new thread regarding the poem as a riddle or riddles within The poem. Thanks for your intelligent discourse.

    IMO there are multiple riddles to be solved and multiple secrets of ff, (not necessarily related to the treasure‘s location).

    Some of the riddles I believe I have solved but am not willing to share publicly. One riddle within the poem’s “Justified grid” which I am still working on is how dole pineapple = a payload.

    • Agreed 42, Nice discourse but deviation too! 🙂
      Its going to take a lot of justification to find the correct grid. I am still looping around not knowing where to start/end!

  68. I think the poem is a riddle and it’s up in Montana, but I also think the poem is instructions because it tells you the proper way to get there, and it’s also like a puzzle because it can be confusing and mean alot of things

    • It might be the or it might not be! But if u study well the treasure content, the State is spelled out loud!

  69. Hello All,

    So there is way more to read here than I have time for at the moment. I was searching for a break down of what the consensus is regarding the nine clues. While I realize this is the riddle thread I would kindly ask guidance in the right direction for the clues.

    In terms of the riddle, in order to solve the riddle must it first not be identified? Is there also a consensus on what the riddle is? And by that I don’t mean the poem is a riddle in it’s entirety. It seems to me that FF has inserted an actual riddle into the poem somewhere, somehow. So I am asking those who have been here longer discussing the matter longer if there is some sense of what the explicit riddle may be, if indeed it exists.

    In the event that an explicit (or even implicit) riddle does exist, I would be inclined to believe that the nine clues are directional guides on how to get to the chest and the riddle would be the “key” (perhaps) to getting to where the nine clues would guide you. Obviously, if the “riddle” is more of a metaphor, which I have reason to believe it is not, then you can ignore my remarks in the previous sentence.


    • Follow Up-

      So I glanced back over the poem and nothing riddlish stood out to me except fot the question in lines 17-18. I didn’t think it made for a very good riddle at first, until I thought of an answer. And, in lieu of the fact that riddles generally list clues about the answer before posing the question, then pose the question the riddle is asking, I feel the riddle in the poem is marked by the question in lunes 17-18.

      That said, you may be wondering what my answer is to FF’s question.

      Q: Why indeed would FF have to leave his trove for all to seek?
      A: Because he cannot stay.

      If you believe, as I do, that that is indeed the riddle, then (IMO) the answer ought to be equally clear. And if you were to ask me what it meant, or what I think it means, I would say this:

      IF the riddle is as stated and
      IF the answer is because he could not stay
      THEN the chest is hidden in a place where FF could not stay because such a place would be closing to the public (such as a park or sometimes lakes). And (IMO) it would have to be such a place where even permission to stay would not be granted (i.e.-not in camping permitted areas).

      Not if my opinion here serves us true, then surely such an area could be pinpointed using the nine clues as a guide.

      What do you think?


      • Hi Ann
        I can tell you are a very learned person just like
        Zap and Seeker but do you have street smart
        102 ,if you do I would use it.Clint

        • Clint,

          What would you identify as being the “riddle in the poem?” And you are correct, I am educated in terms of schooling. But I have learned a lot from the life of hard knocks too. And what exactly do you mean by nope? Nope doesn’t give me much feedback. If you would, please elaborate. And we’ve all grown up on very different streets, some none at all. Not to say too much, but I come from a time before the digital age.

          In response, I would just like to mention that I’ve never come across a riddle that didn’t pose a question (in some form or another). After all, isn’t the point of a riddle to test ones wits and see if the one being riddled doesn’t know what the riddler is referring to?


          • Ann, I mentioned the other day that I don’t think the question in the poem that you brought up is a riddle that we need to solve. Or, that it will have any impact on finding the tc.

            JDA didn’t agree. I told him some of f’s recent words reinforced some of his older statements in which I think points to the tc being found already before reaching that stanza of the poem.

            Some of f’s recent words were then discussed on this site right after that so that’s my link to them.

            F saying things like it’s obvious that the last clue is the most important to figure out because you then have the tc (paraphrased).

            Also, f recently said something like when you get to the last clue then look down. He didn’t say quickly.

            These, for me, reinforce that the last clue is in stanza 4.

            Then you have f statements before that the clues are consecutive and contiguous.

            Add to that this f quote…

            Dear Forrest,

            You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

            a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

            b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

            Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail?

            No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

            Again, this reinforces to me that a riddle in the poem comes before the clues in the poem.

            So my answer to you would be the riddle is in the first stanza. The riddle is a hint to help get one to the correct geographical starting point.

            A riddle doesn’t have to be in the form of a question. I think especially so for a hunt setter as talented as f. He would like nothing more than to put a riddle right out in the open and let searchers just skip over it, imo.

            Wikipedia definition of a riddle-

            A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved.

          • Hi FD: seems to me the most obvious riddle in the poem is figuring out where warm waters halt, and that the most obvious answer is Yellowstone.

          • Hi Zap;

            I agree with most of your posts, and analysis, but on this one I have to disagree. JMO – 🙂 JDA

          • Zap, doesn’t what I posted above from f suggest that if that’s a riddle it isn’t solvable by itself?

            A riddle must provide enough hidden information to solve itself…if I’m saying that right.

          • Hi FD: “doesn’t what I posted above from f suggest that if that’s a riddle it isn’t solvable by itself?”

            If the 5th line of the poem is the riddle in its entirety (and I believe it is), then it can be solved in isolation from the rest of the poem: YNP is certainly a very obvious place where warm waters halt. I just don’t think solving the riddle tells you the starting point, and thus the *full* answer to “Begin it where warm waters halt”. YNP is not an actionable starting point.

          • Zap, I don’t think riddles employ a most “obvious” answer…as in other answers would be sufficient too. Sucky riddle if that’s the case.

            I’d quit right now if that’s what we have to look forward to.

          • Hi FD: I’m not sure that I’d say YNP was an ~obvious~ a priori answer to WWWH if all you knew geographically was that the treasure was hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in AZ, CO, WY or MT. But once it’s pointed out as a possibility, it seems pretty obvious to me in retrospect — something a child could figure out. Seems to me a lot of riddles are like that: they’re not “hard,” they just require a bit of lateral thinking. If there is a better, general answer to WWWH, I’ve yet to hear or read it. For instance, in my opinion, the totality of Yellowstone is a far better answer than any singular hot spring, warm spring or geyser.

          • Zap

            Riding a horse is only as good as its ability to communicate. And we can thank Mr. Ed for that!


      • Ann,
        I don’t think that is part of the riddle.
        “So why is it that I must go
        And leave my trove for all to seek?
        The answers I already know,
        I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.”

        I often wondered about the silver bracelet that he said he would like to have it back. Well, if he wanted it that bad, why doesn’t he go back and get it himself? But he has not been back to that spot since he hid the chest.

        He was 80 years old when he hid the chest (2010).
        In 2014, he answered a question:
        “Is the chest hidden in the (exact) same spot that you would like your bones to be found, or is it a short distance away for reasons beyond your control? ~ Phil

        The spot is the same, but in less than two months I’ll be 84 and that means many of the things to which I once aspired are no longer available to me. I still anticipate, but I may be unable to grasp such a transient pleasure before my trail shows signs of growing too weary for the journey. To make that success would be the boldest move I ever made and to that end I just want it all the more.f”

        Now, he is pushing 90.
        On the inside front of the dust cover of TTOTC, it says,”… a bronze chest that is so full of gold and precious jewelry that it’s almost too heavy for one person to carry. Forrest said that if he were younger he’d go back and get it himself.”

        I think that explains that part of the poem. At least to my satisfaction it does.

        – Lori

        • I should add that I think that also explains “no place for the meek”.
          It doesn’t sound like an easy journey to just walk up and take it. I suspect some climbing, wading, and maybe a strenuous hike.

      • Hello Ann, if you are out there I have a question. Based on your take of the possible riddle on lines 17-18, are you saying that lines 19-20 could be a separate message not necessarily related to the question? I mean, it does not directly answer the question, I’ve thought about this before. It seems to me that there is some ‘missing’ information between the question 17-18 and the conclusion on lines 19-20. I understand your answer to the riddle and also how could it be interpreted, but I think we are only scratching the surface. Poems usually have questions in them that do not necessarily need an answer but only to provoke thought. If a riddle, then almost always will need to be answered.

        I could be wrong, but I like what someone else wrote about the question and the possible answer in regards to his ‘motivations’.

  70. There are really no valid reasons for asking bloggers for help. They don’t have the answers. The answers are in the poem, the books, the videos, the hundreds of ff posts, IMVHO.

  71. It’s simple to just read the lines in the poem to try and solve it, but one can only gain wisdom by reading between them.
    IMO of course,

    Moody Chameleon

  72. Solving riddles is an exercise of what could be, imagination is a keystone for such possibilities. Found a keyhole once, looked like a small amphitheater, mouth full of teeth, bow of a ship, a gas lamp, a stone arch a cats head, and an omega too. Amazing what can happen when your thoughts are let free.. 44.892834,-110.729576

  73. Caller: “Hello again Mr Obvious. Ok I got another riddle. What did Forrest do to the poem to make it so darn difficult to solve? Why did he say stay home and drink hot chocolate?”

    Mr Obvious: “Well I don’t have the answer there caller. Clue me in please.”

    Caller: “Well Mr O, I have no idea, but I think it’s ‘pasteurized’, haha ..”

    Mr Obvious:

  74. Hi fundamental Design: (from way above in the thread)

    Decades of resource management data collection. Most relevant to this topic is FIA (Forest Inventory and Analysis) done at permanently monumented sample plots in very remote regions of the West. An interesting thought: even if Fenn had placed the chest unhidden out in the open in, say, a conifer site or a pinyon/juniper woodland, within ten years the forest litter layer would likely bury the chest.

    As hard as this poem is, as many mistakes as we make, probably the biggest mistake is lacing up ones boots much, much too prematurely.

  75. As far as riddles go, this one helped me most: When is a door not a door?

    When it is ajar.

  76. I believe it is at the beginning. The poem I’ve alway said it comes right back where you started from. Im not sure where the map published is a FF map or have marked any thing on it. The shadow man is on the map. If it is so. The shadow man goes all around the high road and comes back down the low road. Circles the map and right back where he started. I believe if the map has any clues on it i have one single man travels alone and then back at the beginning is two. So if anyone has any idea that the fenn boree map is a real map of Mr Fenn and has had any tampering by him to it. I would greatly love to know. Thank you

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